West Virginia Law Review

Document Type



Recently, a plethora of concern has surfaced regarding the large and rapidly increasing costs of government regulation and its impact upon the economy and the free market system. Much of this displeasure has focused on a seemingly ideal target-The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). OSHA was established in 1970 amidst widespread optimism that it would greatly enhance the employee work environment. This hope, however, was premature; in fact, many commentators argue that, in the ten years since its creation, OSHA has done little to further its objective of improving safety and health in the workplace, despite the large compliance costs it has generated. This article will first review recent cases concerning the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act); the Benzene, Cotton Dust, and Coke Oven Emissions decisions, and then examine the feasibility of OSHA using cost-benefit analysis in promulgating new standards for industry.


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