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Photo Gallery: Safety Through the Decades

Seventy-five years ago, EHS Today began its life as Occupational Hazards & Safety in 1938. Some years later, the title of the magazine was shortened to Occupational Hazards. That name was put to rest in October 2008, on the seventieth anniversary of the publication.

Regardless of the name – EHS Today, Occupational Hazards & Safety or Occupational Hazards – this magazine brand has a rich history of bringing occupational safety and health challenges to light and offering solutions to protect workers and the environment from harm.

As you can imagine, our covers reflect their times. From the early ones in 1938 to now, they offer a glimpse into EHS for the past 75 years.

The magazine’s first publisher, Irving Hexter, noted in the first issue of Occupational Hazards & Safety in 1938, “Each stride of modern industry toward faster, better manufacture of old products, or towards development of new ones, has created additional health and accident hazards.”

In particular, Occupational Hazards & Safety sought to call attention to both safety and health hazards, some of which were caused by new chemicals and processes in American industry, and the cost – in terms of human suffering, workers’ compensation and lost productivity – that these hazards exacted.

“A man killed by silicosis is just as dead as one killed by a walking beam,” wrote Hexter. “A man laid up with oil dermatitis is just as much of a drag on production as one recovering from a cut suffered in a drill press.”

We will update this photo gallery each week with a new cover and information about the important events and issues of that year. In many cases, you will find that the concerns and conversations are not so different today as they were then.

We hope you will enjoy this glimpse into nearly eight decades of safety.

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