25 Ariz. St. L.J. 659 (1993)
OSHA Compliance or Non-Compliance: Admissible in Federal Products Liability Actions to Prove a Machine's Safety or Defect

handle is hein.journals/arzjl25 and id is 669 raw text is: OSHA Compliance or Non-Compliance:
Admissible in Federal Products Liability
Actions to Prove a Machine's Safety or
Michael J. Siris*
In 1970, Congress passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act
(OSHA).' Through the promulgation of safety standards by the
Secretary of Labor, the act require[s] all employers to take all feasible
steps to avoid industrial accidents.'2 Despite its focus on the employer's
duty to safeguard the workplace, OSHA has affected products liability
litigation because litigants have used, or have attempted to use, evidence
of the manufacturer's compliance or non-compliance with OSHA stan-
dards to prove a machine's safety or defectiveness. This article will
discuss the law concerning the admissibility in federal court of OSHA
compliance or non-compliance in products liability cases.
Section 653(b)(4) of OSHA contains a clause regarding OSHA's
applicability, providing:
Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to supersede or in any
manner affect any work[er's] compensation law or to enlarge or
diminish or affect in any other manner the common law or statutory
rights, duties or liabilities of employers and employees under any
* The author graduated from Yale College (cum laude) and New York University Law
School. Mr. Siris is a member of the New York Bar; a member of the firm of Debrot and Siris
with offices in New York City, New York and Manhasset, New York; and is an interim appointee
through December 31, 1993, to the New York State Supreme Court (subject to N.Y.S. Senate
confirmation). D. Peter DeSimone, a second year student at Hofstra Law School, assisted in the
1. 29 U.S.C. §§ 651-78 (1988).
2. General Dynamics Corp. v. Occupational Safety & Health Review Comm'n., 599 F.2d
453, 464 (1st Cir. 1979). The specific purposes of OSHA are enumerated at 29 U.S.C. § 651(b)(l)-
(13) (1988).


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