Wednesday, February 11, 2004

OSHA Webpage Update

As I reported below, OSHA has closed off its very useful Inspection Data website from 6:00 P.M. to 8:00 A.M.

I've heard from several sources that it's due to budget problems. One theory is that they're paying an expensive contractor and the site has been too successful to afford. Another theory is that the Firewall costs too much to run 24 hours a day. I've also heard that OSHA intends to limit access for people who spend too much time on the site.

New York health and safety activist Trina Semorille suspects: "It's because they want to limit access. They know you don't want to do this research during the day, at work, where it can be tracked, allowing whistleblowers and "troublemakers" to be punished. Off the job, no access at all--the site is closed. "

And University of Connecticut Associate Professor Tim Morse suggests, "It is interesting that the times that they cut it back are the times when workers are most likely to access it."

Very interesting, but hardly surprising.

Maybe we should all let OSHA know how stupid this really is. You can do it through the web page or call the main number: (202) 693-2000.