Monday, May 17, 2010

50 Comments To OSHA Addressing Challenges

Dave Johnson, left, editor of "Industrial Safety & Hygiene News" magazine, has selected 50 comments to show you the challenge the OSHA faces. He wants to know "Which ones do you think deserve top priority?" Email him at

1 OSHA needs to do a better job of communicating with the public. It takes forever to track down the correct office and person.

2 OSHA must do a better public relations job with workers. Half of workers do not like OSHA.

3 OSHA needs to address mental health. Many workers are stuck in boring, underpaying jobs in cubicles with no privacy and no prospects to advance. OSHA can recommend and talk about onsite therapy.

4 OSHA should send a warning letter each time an employee calls in a complaint.

5 Small business is worse than big business when it comes to injuries. OSHA can’t fine small businesses like the millions it fined BP, but it should enforce small business compliance before accidents happen.

6 Emphasize compliance and culture. Culture is a major safety determinant. OSHA does not help employers with their safety cultures.

7 The Voluntary Protection Program offers the best management system in the U.S. for job safety and health. VPP needs more OSHA support, not less.

8 The window cleaning industry still faces 12 to 15 serious injury incidents each year, with four or five fatalities. OSHA should incorporate by reference the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) I-14.1 Window Cleaning Safety Standard.

9 Hand-arm vibration syndrome was investigated by Dr. Alice Hamilton in 1918. NIOSH has reported that 1.2 to 1.5 million U.S. workers are exposed to hand-arm vibration. OSHA should recognize the current situation and prevent vibrationinduced disease.

10 Sixty-nine percent of 9,442 9/11 recovery and response workers examined between July 2002 and April 2004 presented new or worsened respiratory symptoms and lung abnormalities. OSHA urgently needs to protect response, recovery and support personnel who are asked to take action in any disaster.

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