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Health and Regulatory Inspectors

History

Federal, state, and local laws have been enacted to provide service and protection to citizens in many areas of daily life. An important aspect of law enforcement involves setting acceptable standards in such diverse areas as quality of transportation and food storage, and then providing ways to ensure that these standards are met. The government takes responsibility for public safety on many fronts, including various industries, labor standards, immigration, and preservation of the environment. Over the years, federal, state, and local governments have developed a system of regular inspection and reporting to assure these safety standards are maintained.

Rather than wait until a law has been violated, it is more efficient to employ inspectors to continuously watch the way in which standard requirements are carried out. For example, if a law requires that food be stored at a certain temperature to prevent the growth of micro-organisms, regular inspections of the place where the food is stored ensure the law is followed, which is better than waiting until disease or illness occurs. Health and regulatory inspectors enforce compliance with all health and safety laws and regulations.

Many local, state, and federal agencies oversee the various areas of inspection and regulation that are required in such a vast nation. One major employer is the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which was formed in 1953 as a successor to the Federal Security Agency, which had been set up in 1939 to "administer federal responsibilities in the field of health, education, and social security." In 1979, the department was organized into five main operating components, including the Public Health Service (serving the nation since 1798). It operates a myriad of health and regulatory subagencies including the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the National Institutes of Health, the Health Resources and Services Administration, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Other employers of health and regulatory inspectors include the Environmental Protection Agency, the Bureau of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (an arm of the Department of Homeland Security), the Department of the Interior, the Department of Agriculture, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and many others on the federal, state, and local levels.

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