The deterioration of workplace safety

2008

A few weeks ago, I mentioned the Department of Labor's recent initiatives to weaken workplace safety initiatives, undoubtedly to the benefit of private industry.

I'm glad to see that my concern is widely shared, with more and more articles appearing in newspapers across America focusing on the deterioration of workplace safety.

The cause of all this fuss is the Department of Labor's new proposals that would actually limit the Occupational Safety & Health Administration's ability to regulate toxins in the workplace even more than is already the case.

What does science think of this plan? It gives it a resounding "F", which to non-Americans should be read as "foolish", "failure", or an expletive of your choice.

Even though this initial response was enough to convince the Office of Management and Budget (keeping track of all these agencies?), the plan was shelved. However, like most dead things in Washington DC, it has come back to life.

There are many well-intended folks in America that believe that government isn't the answer and privatization is the way to go. However, I disagree with that to a point – if government isn't the answer, it's only become they've shown themselves to be incompetent and go to the highest bidder far too many times.