When most of us think about Labor Day, we think about a long weekend, barbeques, and getting one last swim at the pool or beach before the end of summer. And while Labor Day is all those things, we often overlook the sacrifices and contributions made by workers to get us here.
While the Industrial Revolution brought about a huge surge in workforce productivity, it also brought harsh and often dangerous working conditions for the average American worker. Workers, including children, frequently worked 12-hour shifts six days a week in hazardous and crowded factories, railroads, mills, and mines. Unfortunately, severe life-altering and often fatal workplace accidents were common and considered an inevitable byproduct of industrial work.
Labor Day was originally celebrated in 1882 with the intent to celebrate the American Worker and fight for a more favorable working environment. Since that first Labor Day, working conditions and safety have continued to improve incrementally. Improvements included setting a minimum wage, establish a 40-hour week, creating overtime pay, and introducing the OSHA Act of 1970, which gave the government the power to set and enforce workplace safety and health standards.
Fortunately, in the last few decades workplace culture around safety has been drastically elevated. Most modern companies no longer view safety as a detriment to their bottom line, but as a smart business choice and an integral part of their organization. As a result of this cultural shift, workplace accidents continue to decline, although there is still work to do.
So, while you are enjoying that barbeque or that last swim this Labor Day take a few moments to acknowledge the sacrifices of those that came before us and how we can all carry the torch forward. At Thompson Safety we are dedicated to helping employers continue their safety journey by creating a superior work environment for their business and the American worker.
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About Thompson Safety®
Thompson Safety™ is a full-service safety company, based in Houston, TX. Thompson Safety supplies first aid, safety supplies & PPE, AED, eyewash, fire extinguisher and training services onsite, helping safety and EHS professionals more efficiently manage their safety programs. To learn more, visit www.thompson-safety.com or follow Thompson Safety on LinkedIn. Looking to join the Thompson Safety team? Please visit: www.thompson-safety.com/company/careers
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