Health, safety and HRM
This chapter discusses some of the current trends that are increasing the importance of health and safety in the workplace, and then describe some of the HR responses to these trends. It provides some guidelines for HR departments in addressing health and safety issues in the workplace. In 1970, the US Congress enacted the Occupational Health and Safety Act requiring employers to provide safe and healthy work environments for their employees and, in turn, for employees to comply with existing standards applicable to their work. The responsibility for health and safety has traditionally been located outside of human resources, and instead centered in divisions and departments directly related to production. One external factor relative to the importance of health and safety to organizations is the enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Per capita health care expenditures increased between 5 and 9 percent per year between 1993 and 2002.