Just before New Year's the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) celebrated its 43rd anniversary.

When OSHA was created on Dec. 29, 1970, with the signature of enabling legislation by President Richard Nixon (pictured), an estimated 14,000 workers would lose their lives at work annually, or about 38 a day.

According to 2012 statistics, that figure is now down to 4,400 fatalities a year, or 12 a day. Serious workplace injuries and illnesses have also declined, from 11 per 100 in 1970 to 3.4 per 100 in 2012 (the most recently compiled statistics).

During that same span, the U.S. workforce has nearly doubled, with more than 130 workers across more than 7 million work sites.