How Has Workplace Safety Evolved Over the Years?

March 23, 2021


From the formation of OSHA to robotics and wearable technologies, workplace safety has significantly improved in the last half-century. Today, occupational health and safety is a workplace hero, but it wasn’t a priority in the early 1900s. Workers would sacrifice their health and lives to get things done. Workplace safety continues to improve year after year, with injury and fatality numbers gradually decreasing.

The Inception of Workplace Safety

The evolution of occupational health and safety started in the 1970s. It began with the formation of the Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP), a not-for-profit organization that offers accredited credentialing for health, safety, and environmental practitioners. The organization establishes standards in professional safety practice. Between 1960 and 1991, Liberty Mutual developed Manual-Handling Task Guidelines, which are based on tables that highlight the capability and limitations of workers handling lifting, pulling, pushing, carrying, and lowering tasks. The aim is to reduce low back disability.

The national workplace safety culture in the US was formally initiated in 1970 following the formation of OSHA. The agency was formed to collect data, release reports, and pass health and safety standards that address issues related to known workplace hazards. Before OSHA’s inception, it was estimated that 14,000 workers died on the job. The number of fatalities has decreased yearly to 5,250 in 2018 even as total employment numbers grew twofold.

Growth of Workplace Robotics Development

The first robot in a manufacturing operation was implemented by General Motors in 1962. By the latter half of the 70s, factories were using fully electrically-driven robots and the first generation of arc welding robots. The Research Institute at Liberty Mutual continued its work in the 1980s, studying repetitive stress injuries. The research led to the development of guidelines for repetitive wrist motion and the 1994 Musculoskeletal Stress Measurement Kit.

In 1990, the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) was formed for research, education, occupational safety, and health development. The foundation funds fellowships, internships, scholarships, and research grants. ASSE later collaborated with the Canadian Society of Safety Engineering to start a week focused on drawing attention to workplace safety measures. In 2001, Liberty Mutual’s Research Institute developed the Quantitative Analysis Unit (QAU) to conduct research on the leading causes of disabling workplace injuries and illnesses. The QAU was renamed the Center for Injury Epidemiology in 2006.

Modern Technology for Workplace Safety

In 2008, Linatex introduced the first collaborative robot (cobot). Cobots are intended for direct human-robot interaction within a shared space and have found numerous applications in different industries. In 2017, workplaces began incorporating apps that alert workers to hazards and allow employers and supervisors to identify and address safety concerns early. In 2018 and 2019, major automakers started using exoskeletons in their factories to help workers reach overhead while reducing muscle load. Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, innovations in occupational health and safety are centered on disease detection and prevention.

  Back to Blog

Client Reviews



Worker's Comp

Great friendly staff and professional. Eliminated headaches, always available and punctual. Has gotten me to a place I never imagined when I came in, feeling broken. She challenged me with compassion to work through chronic nature of my injury and had the knowledge and advocacy skills to ensure I go the treatment providers who specialized in treating my CRPS condition. She acted as my advocate and as a passionate friend in my corner.

Read More

Opposing Party (Self Represented)

Worker's Comp

I have not had the opportunity yet to thank you for always treating me with respect and kindness. Even though we have disagreed about elements of my injury and how it played out in 1994, you still treated me with respect and dignity. Therefore I just want to thank you for being so kind and respectful to me.

Read More


Raji and her staff are wonderful dealing with clients that are injured. We can be very difficult as we are mostly in pain. Raji has a comforting way of speaking to people & assures them things will be OK. I thank her and her staff for handling my case seamlessly and stress reduced. You are in good hands.

Read More


Family Law/Adoption

My Family uses the services of Law Offices. Raji is fantastic to work with along with her assistant Sue - they are always upfront with what is going on and what to expect. We are very happy with their office and will continue to use Raji for future needs. I highly recommend them.

Read More


Worker's Comp

Highest regard! Great, friendly, punctual, professional, caring, compassionate, hardworking, quick to respond. I was always kept in the loop.

Read More


Worker's Comp

I am so happy I found Raji and her staff to help me along with my work comp case. They are professional, caring and knowledgeable. I feel glad that Raji and Rick always took time to explain things clearly and made me feel like they actually cared about me. I never felt like I was "just a case or number." I highly recommend them.

Read More


Personal Injury

Excellent. Kind. Understands how hard it is to deal with such a catastrophic injury and what that truly means for day to day life and family obligations. Cares about best treatment/long term - genuine.

Read More


Worker's Comp

Professional as expected. Very happy overall.

Read More


Family Law

Very happy with the overall handling of my case. Raji was always reassuring and professional.

Read More



Raji and staff were very caring and compassionate. I was always kept in the loop; they are quick to respond and hard working.

Read More


Worker's Comp

Excellent Job! Raji took over my case midway, very satisfied with all the work put into it. Raji was able to understand the seriousness of my back injury and exceeded my expectations in regards to my PPD settlement.

Read More