Saturday, February 28, 2004

Financial Times of London Picks Up Confined Space OSHA Web Story

Well, at least they're paying attention in England:
Labor Department Takes a Break

Is the Department of Labor keeping banker's hours? In the 24-hour world of the internet, part of its website is only open 8am EST to 6pm EST.

Al Belsky, spokesman for the Occupational Safety & Health Administration - the division of the Department of Labor that makes sure you don't get hurt at work - says the agency had to limit hours because every time someone used the site to look up employer workplace violations it cost OSHA money.

This hasn't stopped people on the internet from speculating about darker motives. Confined Space, a blog dedicated to workplace issues, wrote, "What's next, holidays and snow days for computers?"

Belsky says the practice, which began last month, will not continue much longer, although he did not have a date for things to change. "It won't be an inordinately long time. It will be weeks rather months."

Until then, west coast workers, three time zones behind the east coast, are stuck in the Flintstone era. "People can still write to us for that information," Belsky says - as long as they are able to walk to the post office.