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The impact of health, safety and environmental protection laws.
Eng Educ 1983 Jan; :293-297
The impact of health, safety, and environmental (HS/E) protection laws in the United States on practicing engineers was outlined. Twelve laws passed between 1970 and 1980 including the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, Noise Control Act of 1972, Safe Drinking Water Act, Toxic Substances Control Act, Solid Waste Disposal Act, Clean Air Act, Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977, Federal Water Pollution Control Act, and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980 were chosen as being of particular significance to engineers. These laws established requirements and opportunities for engineers employed in the HS/E protection field. The engineering education system's response to increased HS/E protection demands over the past ten years were outlined. The system has been responsive in some respects. Environmental engineering has become a fully established branch of engineering that includes subdisciplines of air quality, industrial hygiene, solid waste, and water quality. However, environmental engineering has developed primarily in graduate programs. Safety engineering has not evolved into a distinct specialty and was often paired with industrial hygiene engineering. Recommendations for increasing engineers' awareness of HS/E protection issues and incorporating occupational health and safety engineering topics into engineering were discussed. The recommendations were based on the outcomes of NIOSH workshops on the need for occupational health and safety education for engineers. The recommendations included making undergraduate engineering students more aware of HS/E problems, keeping practicing engineers up to date with developments, establishing and maintaining closer relations between HS/E engineering and traditional engineering disciplines, creating textbooks that address occupational health and safety from an engineering standpoint, and establishing teaching institutes dedicated to promoting the use of HS/E protection materials.
Regulations; Safety-engineering; Occupational-health; Industrial-safety-programs; Environmental-protection; Safety-education; Industrial-hygiene-programs;
Page last reviewed: March 4, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division