JFK Made the Workplace Safer with EO 10990

EO 10990 (JFK Makes the Workplace Safer)

(NationRise.com) – Some of us have dangerous jobs, and injury or even death is a very real possibility. These risks are still prevalent, even with safety laws and councils in place. Thankfully, Executive Order 10990, signed by President John F. Kennedy, helped to make our workplaces safer.

Establishment of the Council (EO 10990 Sec. 1)

Signed in 1962, the EO reestablished the Federal Safety Council within the Department of Labor. The Council was to be composed of a chairman, as designated by the Secretary of Labor, as well as one representative from every one of the many executive agencies and departments including the municipal government of the District of Columbia (DC).

The Board of Commissioners of DC, along with the heads of the agencies and departments, are given the power to choose their representatives as well as qualified alternative members. Both national and international representatives may be appointed as consultants to any committees created by the Council, as deemed appropriate by the Secretary of Labor. Any members of the Council, including the Chairman and consultants, are to serve their roles without compensation from the federal government of the United States.

Council Purpose and Function (EO 10990 Sec 2)

The second section of the executive order states that the Council is to serve as an advisor to the Secretary of Labor on issues regarding the safety of civilian employees within the federal government. It’s the job of the Council to advise on the development and maintenance of safety organizations to reduce or eliminate health risks, injuries and work hazards for federal employees.

Wrapping Up

Section 3 of EO 10990 simply states the Council may establish committees and any officers or affiliates it deems necessary to carry out its objective. The next section, Section 4, explains that the Secretary of Labor has the power to regulate both activity and function of the Council.

Section 5 states it is the job of the Secretary of Labor to ensure the Council has the necessary office space needed as well as any equipment, furnishings, supplies and staff services required to complete its functions.

Section 6 adds that EO 10990 is a continuation of the Federal Safety Council existing under EO 10194. The final section, Section 7, states that EO 10194 is no longer in effect and is hereby superseded by EO 10990.

End of the Day

At the end of the day, we all want to go home the same way we came to work: in one piece. Thanks to executive action Kennedy used in this EO, our workplaces are much safer than they used to be. Injuries and deaths are still real possibilities, but they are much less likely to happen in the modern era. Safety councils and committees have also changed the way work affects our health by regulating hours and enforcing certain safety standards across the board.

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