Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Workers Memorial Day - A Second Perspective

This was left as a comment for yesterday's post, it's very much worth reading:
"In the early 1980s, I was a laid off Safety Professional and accepted a job at OSHA as a temporary position (until the recession cooled off.) My passion for the profession, however, only “heated up” after experiencing the "sense of job accomplishment" while working at OSHA -- i.e., through the authority vested to a law enforcement officer to accomplish hazard abatement. This so called temporary job lasted 25 + years because there is no better job than working for OSHA and knowing that you make a difference by improving workplace safety for the American people. OSHA folks can be proud, especially when you know that your quality work and actions saved someone from pain and suffering. This satisfaction is best achieved through inspiring employers and employees to address root causes by implementing effective management systems that manage safety and health.

Conversely, in order to cope with the traumatic job stress involved with catastrophes and fatality investigations, I believe that it is important to know that you did a quality incident investigation inspection. Accurate and verifiable fact finding and evidence gathering by an OSHA investigator is, in my opinion, the most important aspect for the family and friends of the victims.

Last year, I taped a web-cast with Fred Manuele at OTI. With Fred’s 50+ years of experience in the discipline, he personally thanked each and every one of the OSHA folks for doing what they do. Fred emphasized that the Agency, originally named “Our Savior Has Arrived”, has made incredible advances over the decades and that we should keep up the great work.

On this Workers’ Memorial day, when Congress held hearing to improve the Act, may we all pray for those workers’ at risk of serious physical harm. As important, please do not forget all of those who died needlessly and those disabled workers who struggle day-to-day to survive with physical, emotional, and financial troubles caused by a workplace injury or illness."
To steal from the Jimmy V Foundation motto "Don't give up. Don't ever give up." Remember that what we do today will effect others tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after that, and...


  1. Every organization needs "True Believers" whether the belief is based on fact or fantasy. What is fact to one is fantasy to another and vice versa. You see what you want to see and believe what you want to believe.

  2. Having worked for OSHA for more than thirty years, I frequently wondered how much impact the agency had/has on positivly affecting worker health and safety on a day to day basis.

    In my life after OSHA (working both in consulting and industry). I can tell you that the mere presence of the agency, and the negative conotations associated with and OSHA enforcement action, broadly drives a tremendous amount of safety improvement. Yes, no one wants to hurt people; but often that isn't enough motivation to do the things that need to be done.

  3. Yes, it is a fact that the Very Existence of OSHA accomplishes more than anything that OSHA Actually does. But, the following is still true taken from OSHA Underground:

    Here is a good quote allegedly said by Thomas Jefferson. "When people are afraid of government, it is called tyranny. When government is afraid of the people, it is called liberty". Insert OSHA for the word government above.

  4. Here is an injured workers perspective from the PA Federation of Injured Workers website:

    It's not a game when they DENY YOUR CLAIM

    It's not a game when we SUFFER PHYSICAL, FINANCIAL, and EMOTIONAL PAIN

    It's not a game when we are PAIN

    It's not a game when we can't pay our bills and are in FINANCIAL STRAIN

    It's not a game when we have MENTAL PAIN

    It's not a game when we LAY AWAKE WONDERING IN VAIN

    It's not a game when we feel we have NOTING TO GAIN

    It's not a game when we are made to feel we should NOT REMAIN



    It's not a game when we are PHYSICAL & MENTALLY PROBED

    It's not a game when all our MEDICAL HISTORY IS EXPOSED

    It’s not a game when we are SUBJECTED TO


    It's not a game when we are HARASSED, FOLLOWED, & VIDEO TAPED

    It's not a game when we are denied HUMAN DIGNITY, MORALITY, & JUSTICE

    It's not a game when we have NO RIGHTS

    It's not a game when we have NO PRIVACY

    It's not a game when we have NO LIFE



    By Dennis Straub


  5. 21 years ago when I joined OSHA, I wanted to be leave after 6 months but was convinced to stay. My senior CSHO who trained me, became my supervisor. He believed in my talent and the quality of my work.

    I've watched the quality of my leadership come to an end. Instead of using every CSHO for their strengths and working to help improve their weaknesses, it's about power and ego. If you're not someone that management cares for, no matter how good of a CSHO you are, everthing is done to degradate you.

    What happened to the competent management we once had? So many good CSHOs have left. Those who continue to believe in the mission struggle with dealing with incompetence from RAs down to supervisors.