Thursday, May 27, 2004

OSHA: Back On Line

Bowing to pressure from millions (take or leave)of concerned Confined Space readers, OSHA is once again running its Inspections Data database 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This database is one of the most useful parts of the OSHA web site. You can look up citations by employer, by SIC (industry) code, and citation number. You can find out what the most cited violations in any given industry sector, you can look up accident investigations and even General Duty Clause citations.

But you may recall last February OSHA began keeping the site open only during working hours, a practice clearly designed to limit MY access to the site as I only blog after working hours.

But I wouldn't go away. No, I wouldn't back down. So they've surrendered and put the page back on line, 24 hours a day. And to make up for the pain and suffering they've caused me and countless other working types who are not able to do research between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., they have significantly improved the site. It's faster and you can now sort reports on several different fields.

Good work guys.

Now about those standards....

Bizarre Footnote: I'm not sure what this is about, but at the same time they put the Inspection Data page back on line, they headline this statement on their webpage:

OSHA Web Site - There When You Need It

To illustrate the reliability and availability of the OSHA Public Web Site, the site has been available continuously for the past year, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with only a brief 19 minute break in service on May 14. Over the past two years the OSHA Public Web Site has been available more than 99.99% of the time. On average, the site receives more than 4 million visitors and 50 million hits per month.
So what is this all about? I assume they're distinguishing their "public" web site from the Inspection Data website that was closed down 14 hours a day for almost 4 months. But what point are they trying to make? Are they just being a wee bit thin skinned and defensive about my withering criticism 4 months ago or was this intended to be the announcement that they were re-launching the Inspection Data page, but web gremlins hijacked it and turned it into gibberish?

And what was going on during those 19 minutes on May 14?

Enquiring minds want to know.