These are the remarks of President Richard Nixon before signing the OSHAct into law on December 29, 1970. A written copy of these remarks can be found at http://www.bobsuniverse.com/BWAH/37-Nixon/19701229a.pdf . The House of Representatives had voted 308--60 for the OSHAct, and the Senate adopted it on a voice vote without debate. Sometimes referred to as the Williams-Steiger Act, after its chief sponsors, Democratic Senator Harrison Williams of New Jersey and Republican Representative William Steiger of Wisconsin, the act is known mostly by its familiar acronym, OSHA. Congress passed OSHA "to assure so far as possible every working man and woman in the Nation safe and healthful working conditions." To meet this lofty goal, Congress created a vast federal bureaucracy empowered to regulate most businesses. OSHA touches nearly every American workplace and has become a landmark in the history of labor, employment, and public health law. State regulation of workplace safety began as part of the Progressive response to the industrial revolution during the late nineteenth century. Early in the twentieth century, the burgeoning labor movement lobbied successfully for further regulation. Eventually, the federal government became involved in workplace safety during Franklin Roosevelt's presidency. In 1936, as part of Roosevelt's New Deal, Congress passed the Walsh-Healey Public Contracts Act, which allowed the Department of Labor to ban federal contract work done under hazardous conditions. Under the leadership of Frances Perkins, Roosevelt's secretary of labor and the first woman cabinet member, the federal government aggressively asserted its authority to regulate private business. By the 1960s, however, changes in American industry exposed the ineffectiveness of existing state and federal laws. In 1965, the Public Health Service published an influential report that outlined some of the recently discovered technological dangers, including chemicals linked to cancer. The report called for a major national occupational health effort, criticizing existing federal law as too limited and state programs as uncoordinated and insufficient. The AFL-CIO and other labor organizations urged President Lyndon Johnson to support the report's recommendations. In 1966, President Johnson directed his secretary of labor, Willard Wirtz, to develop a comprehensive national program to protect workers. In the wake of alarming revelations about cancer among uranium miners, Johnson adopted Secretary Wirtz's plan, in 1968, and urged Congress to act. Congress promptly introduced bills embodying the administration's proposal. Wirtz lobbied vigorously for the bills. He testified that each year 14,500 workers died, 2 million were disabled, and more than 7 million hurt as a result of industrial accidents, and that these numbers were steadily rising. He criticized state, local, and private programs as inadequate and fragmented and federal programs as incomplete. Labor unions, public interest groups, and health professionals supported the bills. Industry representatives opposed them. In part because of this opposition, the bills failed to pass Congress in 1968. They also failed because Vietnam War protest, President Johnson's decision not to run for reelection, riots in the inner cities, and other events diverted congressional and national attention away from worker safety and health. In 1969, President Nixon also called for the enactment of a federal occupational safety and health law, though his proposal was substantially weaker than the one introduced by his predecessor. Republicans in Congress introduced bills reflecting the administration's proposal, and, sensing that some worker safety law must pass, industry switched its position and supported these bills. Democrats in Congress introduced stronger legislation supported by the labor unions, a nascent environmental movement, and consumer advocates like Ralph Nader. Ultimately, the House of Representatives voted 308--60 in support of the compromise bill, and the Senate adopted it on a voice vote without debate. Soon after its passage, OSHA became a powerful presence in American workplaces. Many businesses deeply resented the government for telling them how to operate, and the act provoked much controversy. Despite this controversy, however, OSHA itself has remained relatively unchanged. It has only been amended once, in 1998, but these amendments were relatively minor. For more on the history and accomplishments of OSHA, go to http://www.osha.gov/history/OSHA_HISTORY_3360s.pdf . The recording of these remarks was obtained from the US National Archive in College Park, Maryland.