Tuesday, August 23, 2005

- Editor's Notebook: Which OSHA Do You Know?

A survey with worisome results ...

OSHA the ogre or OSHA the dedicated public safety agency – which identity is real? Our 2005 National Safety Survey may shed some light.

The recent debate in the U.S. House of Representatives over H.R. 742, the bill introduced by Rep. Charlie Norwood, R-Ga., illustrates the continuing schism over OSHA, an agency that is 35 years old but remains an ideological lightning rod. The Norwood bill would allow small businesses to recover their legal costs if they successfully mount a challenge to an OSHA citation.

Given this Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde debate over OSHA, it may be instructive to see how occupational safety and health professionals, the group of citizens arguably most in touch with the agency, view it. In our 2005 National Safety Survey, more than 1,000 EHS professionals answered seven questions about the agency's competence and resources.

* Is OSHA adequately funded? – Only 23 percent of our respondents said the agency has enough money to do its job properly. Now, this doesn't tell us why they think more money is needed. It could go to hire more inspectors, to spur development of standards or to provide further compliance assistance to businesses. Many safety and health professionals compare the OSHA budget of $468 million to EPA's funding of $8 billion and ask why the protection of working Americans seems to get short shrift.

* Does OSHA have sufficient compliance officers? – Some 76 percent of our respondents said "No." In their view, OSHA needs more "cops" on the beat to inspect the 6 million workplaces in its jurisdiction."   continued ...   (Via Occupational Hazards)

OSHA - User Interface Design, Human Computer Interaction (HCI), Ergonomics

OSHA uder the gun.

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