Thursday, May 04, 2006

Confined Space: Pulling No Punches

Being the modest person I am, I'm always reluctant to write about myself, but occasionally someone writes up something that says what I do better than I can say it myself.

Lifelines, the web publication of the Laborers Health and Safety Fund of North America, has an article in the May edition on the third anniversary of Confined Space:
Subtitled “News and Commentary on Workplace Health & Safety, Labor and Politics,” Confined Space pulls no punches when it comes to the interface of safety and politics in the U.S. It is unrelenting in its criticism of OSHA under the Bush Administration (Barab worked there for the last three Clinton years), and it praises state and local officials who bring criminal charges against derelict employers. It publishes the Weekly Toll – an individual accounting of as many workplace fatalities as it can document.

As is typical of blogs, Confined Space does not attempt to present all sides of any issue. Rather, it absolutizes the importance of ending workplace injuries and fatalities and dissects the efforts – or lack thereof – of others from that point of view, letting the chips fall where they may. Readers form their own judgments in reaction to the clear and definite perspective offered by Barab.


There’s no question but that the fight for jobsite health and safety is an uphill battle. Barab clearly enjoys the fight, and he makes the most of it. The topics are intense, the writing is good and the perspective is sharply critical. It’s good reading for anyone who wants to end the carnage – 6,000 fatalities a year – in American workplaces.