All industrialized countries have statutes and regulations aimed to protect the health and safety of working people. For example, in the United States, the US Congress in 1970 passed the Occupational and Safety Health Act to ensure worker and workplace safety. Their goal was to make sure employers provide their workers a place of employment free from recognized hazards to safety and health, such as exposure to toxic chemicals, excessive noise levels, mechanical dangers, heat or cold stress, or unsanitary conditions (Oliver, 2001). In order to establish standards for workplace health and safety, the 1970 Act also created the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) as the research institution for the Occupational Safety and HealthAdministration (OSHA) that oversees the administration of the Act and enforces standards in all 50 states.
In Australia and other countries of British heritage most occupational health and safety legislation has incorporated elements drawn from the common law of ‘torts’ that all persons owe a duty of care to others requiring employers to implement and maintain a safe working environment for employees and others. As far as hospitality employees are concerned, their employers are obligated to avoid exposing them to reasonably foreseeable risks of injury.
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