Sunday, February 01, 2004

We've Got More Mail!

How We Deal (at great length) With Concepts Like "Moderation," "One-Sidedness," "Objectivity," Pro- and Anti- Regulation "Radicals" and "Bringing People Together"

This comment comes from Donald Johnson at

I first covered the creation of OSHA and its early implementation as a reporter for a manufacturing publication back in the early '70s. And now as the owner of a little manufacturing business, I try to live by the spirit of OSHA and EPA as well as ADA and labor laws. This costs money but allows me to sleep nights, and we've had no serious injuries or other complaints.

That's good. Really.

I am an economic Republican and a blogger.

Which makes you a sleepless person with too much to say, no one to listen, a serious anger management problem who can't live within his means.

With that background and partial disclosure of my conflicts of interest and experiences, I have to ask a few policy wonk, news junky questions:

1. Are there "objective" experts on OSHA and workplace safety?

Of course. You're reading one of them.

Seriously. What is "objective?" I consider those experts to be "objective" who spend time in workplaces, talk to workers, study the causes of hazards and how to prevent them use the evidence to establish best practices, guidelines and OSHA standards. I don't consider those experts to be "objective" who, for example, call ergonomics "junk science" and OSHA "the gestapo?" Nor those affiliated with the National Coalition on Ergonomics who criticize legitimate ergonomists for being "unabashed advocates" of "the disputed theory that physical risk factors are a primary cause of musculoskeletal disorders"

2. We know unions and employers are on opposite sides of these issues and that academic and consulting "scientists" frequently are caught standing up for their grants and sponsors rather than for science. So how can either side sell its answers to the working public?

To read more go here.