Monday, September 14, 2009

Health Care Reform

I have a question: What happens to workplace safety and health if health care reform actually goes through? Has anyone thought about it?

Please don't jump in and leave comments about how health care reform is good or bad for the country, I'll just delete those posts. My question is not whether or not we should have health care reform, my question is what happens to safety and health if it comes to pass?

Let's assume it does pass. Let's also assume it meets the goal of reducing health care costs. Wouldn't this suggest that workplace injuries and illnesses might go up? Think about it, we all know that there exists a segment of employers who are only motivated by workers compensation costs. If those costs drop 20%, isn't it reasonable to also assume that at least some of those employers will also reduce their safety and health efforts?

Will this happen? Can it be stopped? We need to get some people a lot smarter than I am to start thinking about this.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Forum

Yesterday, after noticing that the last post has generated 34 comments, I decided that maybe we need to have a better way to discuss things than on the back pages of a blog, so I've set up a forum, the OSHA Above Forum. The web site is

There are a couple of downsides to this new forum, first, because it's free, there will be ads. If enough people use the forum I'll pay for the premium package and get rid of them, but until I know how much it's going to be used, the ads will have to remain.

The other problem is that in order to post comments or start new threads, you have to register. I hate this, but that's the way the hosting site has things set up. You do not have to be registered to read the threads, just to start new topics or leave comments.

Since I know individual anonymity is what most of us are striving for, my suggestion is to set up a new e-mail account at Gmail or Yahoo, or the free webmail hosting site of your choice. This way when you register on the OSHA Above Forum, I can't identify you. Just remember for both the e-mail and the forum to use your pseudonym.

We'll see how this works, but I think it's a better way for the kinds of discussions we're starting to have.

By the way, this blog is not going away, I still have opinions, and your comments to those opinions are still welcome.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Poll Results

The poll results are in, and I have to admit I'm a little surprised by them. Not the "Is Abel a Shill?" poll, I kind of expected that, although I find it somewhat counterintuitive that someone would view me that way and still read the blog. If I though someone was shilling, I wouldn't read their blog.

For me the surprise was what standard people thought OSHA should work on next, the results are below.


6 (5%)

5 (4%)

32 (29%)
Combustable dust

11 (10%)

15 (13%)
Confined Space in Construction

12 (11%)
Safety & Health Program

28 (25%)

Diacetyl? Really? I understand how bad popcorn lung is, but more people die every year from silicosis, or confined spaces in construction, or long term exposure to chemicals because of out dated PELs, than from diacetyl. Besides, if we had a S&H program requirement companies would be required to address this anyway.

For those who voted for diacetyl, leave a comment, I would like to know what your thoughts are.

If you have any ideas for another poll, leave a comment. And thanks to everyone who voted, that was the first poll with over 100 votes.