Wednesday, August 24, 2005

At OSHA: Truth Stranger Than Fiction


So last night I write a story about OSHA awarding "Star" status to W.R. Grace, one of the country's biggest corporate outlaws, a company that has knowingly sentenced thousands of workers, their families and their neighbors to painful illness and early death from asbestos exposure.

But the wierdness over at OSHA continues. In March 2004, I wrote a spoof on OSHA's drive to create an Alliance with every existing life-form on the planet. I thought this was one of my funnier lines: "Two weeks ago, OSHA announced the formation of 134 new Alliances when each of OSHA's ten regions formed alliances with every other region."

Apparently someone at OSHA didn't know I was joking:


The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Columbus, Ohio office is the Department of Labor’s first Voluntary Protection Program site, OSHA announced Monday.

The VPP emphasizes combined effort from management, employees and union representatives to identify and eliminate unsafe working conditions and practices to reduce the number and severity of job-related injuries and illnesses.

OSHA’s Columbus-area office is a “shining example of excellence attained in safety and health in the workplace. OSHA’s mission echoes that of [this] VPP participant, which is to strive for continuous improvement in occupational safety and health,” said Jonathan L. Snare, deputy assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health.

OSHA’s Columbus-area office is a “shining example of excellence attained in safety and health in the workplace????


I mean, come on guys, you must have better thing to do than this. I mean while than 5,500 workers are dying in accidents every year in American workplaces and tens of thousands more die from occupational diseases, it would currently take federal OSHA 108 years to inspect each workplace under its jurisdiction just once.

And you all are out inspecting each other for VPP status???