Seven Decades of Safety: Occupational Hazards Began Its Life as Occupational Hazards & Safety in 1938. It Ends Its Life This Month-As Occupational Hazards, an Award-Winning Publication-At Age 70

Occupational Hazards, October 2008 | Go to article overview

Seven Decades of Safety: Occupational Hazards Began Its Life as Occupational Hazards & Safety in 1938. It Ends Its Life This Month-As Occupational Hazards, an Award-Winning Publication-At Age 70


The magazine's first publisher, Irving Hexter, noted in the first issue of Occupational Hazards and safety, "Each stride of modern industry towards faster, better manufacture of old products, or towards development of new ones, has created additional health and accident hazards."

In particular, the new magazine sought to call attention to both safety and health hazards, some of which were caused by new chemicals and processes in American industry, and the cost these hazards exacted in terms of personal suffering, workers' compensation and lost productivity.

"... A man killed by silicosis is just as dead as one killed by a walking beam," wrote Hexter. "A man laid up with oil dermatitis is just as much a drag on production as one recovering from a cut suffered in a drill press."

In planning this special 70th Anniversary section, we decided to examine some of the headline events that occurred during Occupational Hazards' 70 years and helped shape the safety and health field. As we move forward as EHS Today, we will offer the same award-winning coverage of occupational safety and health topics, but also provide more comprehensive coverage of environment, health and wellness, sustainability, workers' compensation and risk management topics.

For the 1940s, we focus on two wars, one against silicosis and the other against accidents that would impede production during World War II.

In the 1950s, we explore the United States' confidence in its industrial safety programs and the serious health problems not yet fully addressed. …

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