"Good safety is good business. That's the bottom line. Good companies realize that; bad ones don't or don't give a shit. It's critical to distinguish between the two groups.And the counter:
OSHA is a paper tiger. What really gets executives' attention is insurance costs, bad press, and downtime from accidents.
OSHA's had almost no impact on injury rates and none on fatality rates -- the trend lines of lower rates go all the way back to the 1930s, and if you look at that chart, OSHA's creation and existence has no effect at all. None."
"Having worked for OSHA for more than thirty years, I frequently wondered how much impact the agency had/has on positively affecting worker health and safety on a day to day basis.Those were followed up with this:
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 connotations 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."
"There are plenty of companies out there that protect their workers far better than the Agency protects us. How ironic --not to mention pathetic-- is that...?"People need to get a little perspective. First, anyone who thinks OSHA is just a paper tiger is an idiot. Second, anyone who thinks OSHA makes a huge impact, is an idiot. The statement from the first commenter "OSHA's creation and existence has no effect at all. None." is just plain wrong, there have been enough studies that show both injury and fatality rates declined at a greater rate after the creation of the agency. I'm certainly not going to suggest that we are the great cure to the countries safety and health woes, but we are having an impact.
The third comment is the one that frustrates me the most. Get this though your heads people OSHA IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR WORKPLACE SAFETY AND HEALTH! Employers are. That's right, we have chosen, as a country, to make employers responsible for their employees safety and health. How could we possibly be expected to inspect over 7.5 million job sites, with only 1,000 CSHOs? Read the OSHA Act of 1970, specifically:
|SEC. 5. Duties|
|(a) Each employer -- |
|(1) shall furnish to each of his employees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees;|
(2) shall comply with occupational safety and health standards promulgated under this Act.
The Duty to Protect employees falls squarely on the shoulder of business, not OSHA. OSHA's responsibility is to promulgate standards and ensure that employers follow those standards.
This does not mean that OSHA has been perfect in carrying out our duties, clearly we have had/continue to have, issues. All you have to do is read earlier posts of this blog or the OSHA Underground blog to see that those of us who work for the agency have our frustrations with the way things are done. For that matter, future posts will probably be dedicated to the frustrations we all feel about how the Agency operates.
Finally, this comment:
"When was the last time a CSHO got a hearing test as part of "standard operating procedure" so to speak for surveillance?????"CSHOs are supposed to get an annual physical, which includes a hearing test. If you're a CSHO and haven't been getting a hearing test as part of your annual physical, you need to tell your AD and the appropriate ARA. If they refuse to do anything, get in touch with the Medical Officer in the national office and let them know what's going on. You should be getting this test.