Thursday, August 19, 2010

New Poll

The last poll is closed and a new one has been opened:  Should OSHA Exist?

The last poll was close, 68 to shut 'er down, 67 to keep trudging on.  Since the poll was really about finding out if people are still reading, I'm keeping the blog.  Keep the comments coming, even those that disagree with me, just be respectful of me and others reading and commenting (you'll notice that 4 of the 5 I allowed through were dissents, but they weren't disrespectful).

No one has offered an article of their own so far, please consider doing so.


  1. Thomas Jefferson offered us a solution when he said, "The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it to be always kept alive. It will often be exercised when wrong, but better so than not to be exercised at all. I like a little rebellion now and then."

  2. this blog has gotten b-o-r-i-n-g. Visiting it less and less. Might be time to close up shop.


    I am clearly showing my ignorance because I don't know how to make this appear as a link to the article, but you asked for articles to discuss and I am genuinely interested in what others have to say about this one. It comes from our Daily News Links. I was talking just the other day with a friend and fellow IH about how OSHA seems to have lost an interest in safety and health and replaced it with writing citations.

  4. How can I go about submitting an article? I'd be interested in doing so.

  5. Anon @ 1:35 Aug 22: That's what Fidel Castro and Che Guevara both said too.

    Anon @ 7:39 Aug 26: S-t-o-p r-e-a-d-i-n-g.

    Anon @ 1:38 Aug 27: I don't think you can make a link when posting a comment.

    The two things that jumped out at me about the article are:

    1. It's a trade journal, and I always take those with a grain of salt (as I do with union written articles).

    2. I didn't know CalOSHA had a tougher than Fed OSHA reputation. They are much better at writing standards than we are, but tougher enforcement? I don't think so. According to BLS California has a DART of 2.4 compared to a national DART of 2.1 for 2008. Not a perfect measure, but an indicator.

    I suppose the real question isn't toughness, the real question should be: is CalOSHA more effective? Maybe.

    I do think you're right that it has become all about the citations, but I don't think we've lost our interest in safety and health. I think ADs get judged on citations (and we all know it rolls down hill), so younger CSHOs seem to think that's the measure of how successful we are. I think we've lost too much of our ability to investigate, we've adopted too much of a cookie cutter, copy/paste, hurry up sort of mentality.

    My suggestion: do as much full shift sampling as possible, it's while you're watching people work that real hazards are revealed.

  6. You've not heard of CAL OSHA's tough reputation? Ever seen another state put out a video like this?

    I would say that's fairly aggressive.

  7. Is CalOSHA more effective? No. They are are hypocrites.
    READ HERE at

  8. I was recently having a conversation with our local OSHA AD. Here the story goes. They were out shopping with their spouse when they noticed a man working on the side of the store they were visiting. His scaffolding was not in compliance and he was approximately 20' off the ground with no fall protection. The AD stated that they saw this and were on the phone as quickly as possible with the area office to get the companies name and then to call the company and get someone down there to address the issue. The AD then stated they hurried home to get their credentials and return to the site, "hopeing he was still up there working". A glaring example of the local leadership being concentrated on writing citations, rather than saving lives.

    If there was enough of a danger to warrant issuing a citation, why on earth wouldn't they get the employee down in the first place?

    To me this is OSHA taking the stance of wanting people to be exposed to hazards so they can write citations, rather than trying to protect the worker. I don't know if this was true, or if it was just exaggerated story telling by the AD. Either way, the attitude is not in the right mindset of saving lives.

  9. Anon @ 11:20 Aug 31: That video wasn't from CalOSHA, it was from the Workplace Safety & Health Board of Onterio ( - the ca means Canada, not California).

    Anon @ 1:49 Aug 31: Hypocrite is the wrong word. Does Cal-OSHA have issues? Sure they do, as do the other state-plan-state and Fed OSHA. Some of these issues are of our own making and some aren't.

    As for the attached link, CalOSHA can't cite 178(c)(1) or 178(c)(2), they have a different, and I think more comprehensive, standard. I think their citation would be 3650(g). Also, I don't think 178(c)(1) is citable by anyone: "The industrial trucks specified under subparagraph (2) of this paragraph are the minimum types required but industrial trucks having greater safeguards may be used if desired." I think any violations would need to be cited under 178(c)(2)(?), but maybe a safety could weigh in on that.

    Anon @ 1:54 Aug 31: I'm not saying there aren't people who put citations over safety, however, Section 8(a) of the OSH Act says: "(a) In order to carry out the purposes of this Act, the Secretary, upon presenting appropriate credentials to the owner, operator, or agent in charge, is authorized --" We can not enter a work site and claim to be from OSHA without presenting our credentials. This is the same restriction for all federal law enforcement, we have to demonstrate we are authorized to be there.

    The AD could approach the workers and say "I'm going to contact OSHA," and then walk away. But my experience is that the workers will simply disappear for the day and come back the next day, but the odds of the scaffold being fixed are only 50/50.

    Personally, I take care of the problem by always carrying my credentials.

  10. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  11. "republican appointees for 25 of the last 30 years at the top"

    so now we only filter conservative posts. How was this not inciting and political?

    This will be just like the pump handle soon.

  12. Is this OSHA approved respirator / PPE?

  13. Anon @ 11:14 Sept 13 - Far enough, here's the post without the political comment:

    Cal/OSHA more rigorous? Hilarious. No functioning medical unit... can't cite general duty clause or industry standards, irrationally hostile ALJs (they're appointed by GOP govs), no real training program for CHSOs, a standards board that refuses to adopt fed changes to regs. ALAEA? Not even close.

    Anon @ 1:32 Sept 23 - I wish this were a joke (and no, it's not approved by NIOSH).

  14. Anon @ 11:14 here. I hope you had a spelling error? Far or fair?

    As to your revision, even a far right conservative idiot like me knows that GOP still stands for republican. YOur point would have been made without reference to who appointed them.

    Even I would agree that CalOSH has some very strange rules and practices. However, the one thing that they do have is the ability to update their regulations as needed.

    Maybe that would be an improvement.

  15. Anon @ 8:16 Sept 30 - You are making an excellent point, and one of the real strengths of many of the state plans is their ability to adapt faster.