Rocky Mountain Center for Occupational and Environmental Health

History of Occupational Safety and Health in Utah

RMCOEH is honored to hold the Dr. Paul S. Richards Endowed Chair in Occupational Safety and Health that was established through the generosity of the Richards Memorial Medical Foundation and the Workers Compensation Fund.

Dr. Paul S. Richards pioneered occupational safety and health in Utah as part of his work with the Bingham Canyon mine, which is also known as "Kennecott". Among numerous accomplishments, Dr. Richards ran the Bingham Canyon Hospital where he worked to prevent occupational fatalities, implemented respirator programs, pioneered back surgical techniques, and promoted the development of the Utah Occupational Disease statute.

The story of "Dr. Paul" is available at "Bingham Canyon Physician: Paul Snelgrove Richards, 1892-1958" by Eric G. Swedin (Utah Historical Quarterly Volume 69 Numer 1 (Winter 2001). This article is posted with the permission of the Utah State Historical Society.

University of Utah