Alice Hamilton

The Occupational Health and Safety Act (OSHA) was “born” in 1971. Its “mother,” the pioneer of occupational medicine in America, Alice Hamilton, was born over 100 years earlier, dying three months before the Act was signed into law. It took more than fifty years after she was named the first woman (assistant) professor at Harvard Medical School, launching their industrial medicine department, for the country to recognize the need for such legislation. So, why did it take so long?