Skip to main content


Avetta has launched Business Risk! Click here

Labor Day: How Did We Get Here and How Can We Maintain Safety Standards Today?

By Avetta Marketing
September 01, 2021
3 minutes
How Can We Maintain Safety Standards Today?

Every first Monday in September, the United States observes Labor Day—an annual celebration of the social and economic achievements of American workers. The holiday is a reminder of the progress the U.S. has made in labor laws and protecting its workers, but there is still room for improvement.  

What Are the Origins of Labor Day? 

Before there was a Labor Day or labor unions, workers in the U.S. and across the world struggled for basic rights like humane working conditions and decent hours. There was no age requirement or health and safety standards set in place for the workplace, and worker injuries and illnesses were commonplace due to dangerous working conditions.  

The Labor Movement 

The labor movement in the U.S. gained increasing interest out of the need to protect the common interest of workers. As American transitioned into the Industrial Revolution, organized labor unions fought for livable wages, shorter workdays, and safer working conditions. The labor movement also had a goal to stop child labor, give workers health benefits, and provide assistance to workers who were injured on the job or eventually retired.  

How Labor Day Came to Be 

In the late 1800s, labor activists pushed for a federal holiday to recognize the many contributions workers have made to America’s growth. Before being declared an official federal holiday, Labor Day was recognized by activists and individual states. The state of New York was the first state to introduce a bill, but on February 21, 1887, Oregon became the first state to pass an official law recognizing Labor Day.  

By the end of the decade 23 more states, including Connecticut, Nebraska, and Pennsylvania had adopted the holiday. Finally, on June 28, 1894, President Grover Cleveland and Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a federal holiday. 

Much progress has been made since the first Labor Day. Thanks to the hard work and resilience of labor activists, there are rules and standards set in place to ensure the safety and health of workers within your supply chain.  

For example, OHSAS 18001 and ISO 45001 are two well-known standards for occupational health and safety management that are designed to help limit on-site work incidents. Safety management is critical to ensuring condition similar to before labor unions don’t make it back into the workplace.  

Many companies are working to maintain this level of protection for workers. At Avetta, we understand that protecting your supply chain starts with protection your suppliers—whether through safety, risk, or sustainable management.  

The fight labor activists gave to demand real change helped push America to raise its standard of living and worker protection that we have today—but there’s still so much work that can be done to limit or even prevent worker incidents. 

To learn more about supply chain management visit our website, call 844-633-3801, or email [email protected].

Subscribe to our Blog

More from the Avetta Blog

Environmental Social and Governance (ESG)
March 17, 2023
Contractor Management, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Environmental Social and Governance (ESG), Facilities, Health & Safety, Insurance, Legal, Operations, Risk Management, Other
March 1, 2023
Contractor Management, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Environmental Social and Governance (ESG), Facilities, Health & Safety, Insurance, Legal, Operations, Risk Management, Other
February 10, 2023
Supply Chain Management, Risk Management, Sustainability
November 10, 2022
Upcoming Events
Mar 27-29
Westlake Village, CA
Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer Forum
Mar 28 - 29
Niagara Falls, Canada
STAC 2023
Mar 28 - 29
PASA ProcureTech
MAR 29-31
Halifax, NS
Atlantic Workplace H&S Conference
Mar 30
2pm ET
Overcoming the Challenges with Hazard Identification
Mar 30
2pm ET
The Facility Manager's Role in Maintaining a Safe Workplace
Mar 30
12:30pm EST
The Four Keys to Demand Planning in 2023 and Beyond
April 5
2pm EST
OSHA's Top 10 Most Frequently Cited Standards for FY 2022
April 5-6
Anaheim, CA
Southern California Facilites Expo