Thursday, April 28, 2005

Incredibly Shrinking Worker Memorial Day At (Some Of) OSHA

Worker Memorial Day, although given birth by the labor movement of this and other countries, has become such an institution that even the most virulently anti-labor administration in this nation's history recognizes it each year -- at least in press releases.

But no Worker Memorial Day would be complete without the traditional Confined Space commentary on OSHA's ever shrinking observance of this day.

Shrinking? Since WMD '03, OSHA's tradional press release has been getting smaller and small, dropping every year to just over half of the previous year's size.

This year's WMD press release was a paltry 226 words, packed into 5 short paragraphs (compared to 415 words last year and a whopping 749 words the year before).

This is my favorite paragraph from this year's release:
"The dedicated men and women of the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration pause to reflect on their mission and its meaning for the well-being of our Nation. Those who enforce workplace standards, together with those engaged in outreach and compliance assistance, and all of OSHA's myriad tasks, today renew their efforts to ensure that all American workers return safely each day to their homes and loved ones.
Yes, they are dedicated. I used to work with them. It's true. But for some reason, this year, the only ones that are apparently truly dedicated are those who "enforce workplace standards, together with those engaged in outreach and compliance assistance."

What about those who develop new standards? That used to be a big part of OSHA's job. Now it's not even mentioned (OK, maybe it's part of those other "myriad tasks.")

Am I being petty and vindictive? Maybe. But it's my blog. If you don't like it, go write your own.