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Nicholas Scheuer
06-04-2013, 07:29 AM
But we don't have food processing plants employing hundreds working in buildings having only one exit. In China they report that other exits were either locked of blocked.

Keith Wilson
06-04-2013, 07:38 AM
In the good old days of small government before OSHA, we used to have things like that too. Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, 1911; look here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triangle_Shirtwaist_Factory_fire),

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/8/87/Image_of_Triangle_Shirtwaist_Factory_fire_on_March _25_-_1911.jpg/458px-Image_of_Triangle_Shirtwaist_Factory_fire_on_March _25_-_1911.jpg

40 bodies on the sidewalk of women who had jumped from the 9th floor to escape the fire.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/0/0d/Triangle_Bodies.jpg

Horace
06-04-2013, 07:46 AM
On your side as far as safety (and the basic idea of OSHA).

But what's the operative level: OSHA, or fire codes?

Dan McCosh
06-04-2013, 08:25 AM
OSHA was formed in 1971. Seems like a slow reaction to the Shirtwaist fire.

Keith Wilson
06-04-2013, 09:13 AM
Oh, for the love of God, OSHA obviously wasn't a reaction to the Triangle Shirtwaist fire. http://www.reduser.net/forum/images/smilies/rolleyes.gif My point is that China is in now in the stage of unrestricted cowboy capitalism, much like the US 100 years ago, this despite the rule of the nominally communist party and all those those red flags.

Kaa
06-04-2013, 09:32 AM
My point is that China is in now in the stage of unrestricted cowboy capitalism

And it works REALLY REALLY WELL.

China's cowboy capitalism is how hundreds of millions of people climbed out of poverty. In fact, that's the only method which has been able to achieve that.

Kaa

TomF
06-04-2013, 09:35 AM
And it works REALLY REALLY WELL.

Except if you're dead.

Garret
06-04-2013, 09:40 AM
Except if you're dead.

OK - go ahead & get all picky. Don't you know that the captains of industry have our best interests at heart?

Kaa
06-04-2013, 09:45 AM
Except if you're dead.

Much much fewer people die in factory fires and accidents than from malnutrition and diseases that come from being really really poor.

Kaa

Keith Wilson
06-04-2013, 09:45 AM
And it works REALLY REALLY WELL.Better than what preceded it, no doubt. Probably not as well as what will follow it when the Chinese decide that killing people in factory fires is not necessary for economic development.

Fallacy: Because most nations that have moved from poverty to wealth have gone through a stage of very loosely-regulated capitalism, with a great deal of both creation and destruction, such a stage with its attendant suffering is necessary and desirable You can't have economic development without lots of people dying in factory fires. We can't learn from history and do better.

Kaa
06-04-2013, 09:49 AM
Fallacy: Because most nations that have moved from poverty to wealth have gone through a stage of very loosely-regulated capitalism, with a great deal of both creation and destruction, such a stage with its attendant suffering is necessary and desirable; i.e. we can't learn form history and do better.

Show me.

Has anyone been able to rapidly lift millions out of poverty through some benevolent careful risk-limited no-casualties intervention?

Kaa

TomF
06-04-2013, 09:57 AM
Show me.

Has anyone been able to rapidly lift millions out of poverty through some benevolent careful risk-limited no-casualties intervention?

KaaHas anybody tried?

Kaa
06-04-2013, 10:09 AM
Has anybody tried?

Sure. The West has been trying to help Africa climb out of the hole for more than half a century by now. The Russians in early XX century also had a go at pulling the population out of poverty.

Kaa

Hugh Conway
06-04-2013, 10:25 AM
The Russians in early XX century also had a go at pulling the population out of poverty.

err, and the Russians did. Perhaps you haven't noticed that much of big industry in China is state owned or has heavy state ties? Best call it crony-capitlism or state-capitalism or something else. If you are fine kicking the actual cost of goods produced onto others or just down the road... don't call yourself a capitalist. The environmental costs of China's development are a) real and b) staggering.

Dan McCosh
06-04-2013, 10:31 AM
A case could be made that holding industrial activities liable to some extent for the safety of their workers was driven more by lawsuits than regulation. As I recall, the surviving crew members on the Titanic were laid off before they got home. OSHA has been under attack mainly for concentrating on the trivial, with little authority on significant safety issues.

TomF
06-04-2013, 10:31 AM
Did workplace and environmental safety regulations prove to be the stumbling block?

Dan McCosh
06-04-2013, 10:32 AM
err, and the Russians did. Perhaps you haven't noticed that much of big industry in China is state owned or has heavy state ties? Best call it crony-capitlism or state-capitalism or something else. If you are fine kicking the actual cost of goods produced onto others or just down the road... don't call yourself a capitalist. The environmental costs of China's development are a) real and b) staggering. Kicking the real costs down the road is pretty much the definition of capitalism.

Paul Pless
06-04-2013, 10:33 AM
So-Called Conservatives love to moan about OSHA

I can't recall the last time a conservative began a thread bashing OSHA. Might you find me one or two examples?

Kaa
06-04-2013, 10:41 AM
err, and the Russians did.

Did they? Quickly? At what cost?


Perhaps you haven't noticed that much of big industry in China is state owned or has heavy state ties?

Well, Keith thinks China's practicing cowboy capitalism. You think it's practicing state capitalism. Do you guys think it's one and the same or you're disagreeing? :-)

Kaa

Keith Wilson
06-04-2013, 10:41 AM
. . . some benevolent careful risk-limited no-casualties intervention?

Has anybody tried?

The West has been trying to help Africa climb out of the hole for more than half a century by now. The Russians in early XX century also had a go at pulling the population out of poverty.Excuse me? Soviet industrialization was a "benevolent careful risk-limited no-casualties intervention"? Yeah, right. http://www.reduser.net/forum/images/smilies/rolleyes.gif Like the first world war was a minor diplomatic dispute between France and Germany, and the Stakhanovites were just an overly-ambitious exercise program. Oy!

The idea that the reason Africa is still poor is that western intervention tried to be too careful and their homegrown capitalism had too many safety considerations - sorry, not on this planet.


Keith thinks China's practicing cowboy capitalism. You think it's practicing state capitalism. Do you guys think it's one and the same or you're disagreeing? Both. China's a big place.

Dan McCosh
06-04-2013, 10:44 AM
Did workplace and environmental safety regulations prove to be the stumbling block? Workplace safety regulations shut down lots of operations. Often, safer practices turned out to be no more costly when fully amortized, but they required new facilities. That's why lots of plants reinstated in places like Mexico are superior to the ones they replaced in the U.S. Dunno what an environmental safety regulation is, but some regulations do eliminate the process, fuel, etc., while other practices recover energy, materials, etc. Environmental regulation can easily force a move to an area where the regulations are less restrictive.

Kaa
06-04-2013, 10:45 AM
Did workplace and environmental safety regulations prove to be the stumbling block?

They are part of the stumbling block -- regulations and control.

For a related example, consider how much regulations and control were there for the Internet. I assert that that its explosive growth and the massive value it created wouldn't have happened if some "benevolent" government agency decided it needed to be tightly regulated from the very start.

Kaa

Kaa
06-04-2013, 10:48 AM
Excuse me? Soviet industrialization was a "benevolent careful risk-limited no-casualties intervention"?

It was an attempt to lift millions out of poverty through something other than cowboy capitalism.


The idea that the reason Africa is still poor is that western intervention tried to be too careful and their homegrown capitalism had too many safety considerations - sorry, not on this planet.

No -- Africa is still poor because it hasn't been able to start cowboy capitalism going.

Which explanation for the poverty of Africa do you prefer?

Kaa

BrianW
06-04-2013, 10:49 AM
I can't recall the last time a conservative began a thread bashing OSHA. Might you find me one or two examples?

At my last job I volunteered to be the safety guy. Nobody else wanted it. That included dealing with hazmat.

It's something I enjoy. Didn't hurt that 6 months later, they started paying me $25 a day extra to do it. ;)

Nicholas Scheuer
06-04-2013, 10:49 AM
Read Kaa's post above, Paul. WHAT? Are you friggin' BLIND?

Keith Wilson
06-04-2013, 10:52 AM
Dying in an internet fire is pretty rare.

Africa has a great deal of trouble with excessive regulation inhibiting development, but the regulations aren't for safety or worker protection; they're to restrict competition by prohibiting entry to any but to the well-connected, and to generate bribes for getting around them.

The central problem isn't too much or too little regulation, the problem is stupid or intelligent regulation. Anything human beings do can be done well or badly.

Vigorous creative capitalism is a Good Thing. You can have that without killing people in workplace fires because the emergency exits are chained shut.

Paul Pless
06-04-2013, 10:54 AM
Read Kaa's post above, Paul. WHAT? Are you friggin' BLIND?That's it? That's all you got? She was responding to your thread. And she's not really whining about it. Besides that, Kaa's not a conservative. She enjoys argument and plays both sides of the field to satisfy herself. But as much as the left here in the bilge loves to disparage right wing trolls, it shouldn't be too difficult for you to find some tea party advocate that has started a thread criticizing OSHA. . .

Bob Adams
06-04-2013, 10:59 AM
OSHA was formed in 1971. Seems like a slow reaction to the Shirtwaist fire.

Unions were active in improving workplace safety before OSHA came along.

pipefitter
06-04-2013, 11:00 AM
I don't recall many Republican voters/workers complaining about safety, it was the Gestapo like infliction and loop-holing of the rules in order to bully the little guy out of competing for contracts that their political allies wanted for themselves. Of course, there will be no convenient proof or media coverage of the many contractors fined out of existence by inspectors with no prior safety/construction experience either, by regulations seemingly decided overnight and enforced without allowing time for upgrades.

So who pays for this safety? Why the libs will have you thinking that they penalized the big corporations on your behalf, when in fact the cost is passed down to the lowly worker and consumer.

Same with Workman Compensation insurance, that by 1992, was taking nearly 25% of my wages due to fraud and system inefficiency, even though never having made a claim to it. So what was the first to go to pay this so-called safety? I remember it as if it were yesterday. . .it was my family health insurance. That's exactly what it cost me and has cost me ever since. That's right. In a Taft-Hartley state, I have not been able to afford health insurance. Boy, I sure feel better now, having paid for every single medical procedure out of pocket, including the cataract surgery I just had done 2 months ago.

So then, while all you political hacks pat yourselves on the back for a bleeding hearted job well done, with your pet, poor, middle and 1%'rs, there are those of us in the forgotten-disposable class, that are flipping you the big o'l bird.

Kaa
06-04-2013, 11:09 AM
Africa has a great deal of trouble with excessive regulation inhibiting development, but the regulations aren't for safety or worker protection; they're to restrict competition by prohibiting entry to any but to the well-connected, and to generate bribes for getting around them.

Recall that power corrupts. Even if that power was put in place for benevolent reasons (like safety or worker protection).


The central problem isn't too much or too little regulation, the problem is stupid or intelligent regulation.

I would agree with that, but there's a problem. There doesn't seem to be any way to set up structures of power in such a way so that they produce only intelligent regulation. Methinks you're engaging in the nirvana fallacy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nirvana_fallacy).


Vigorous creative capitalism is a Good Thing. You can have that without killing people in workplace fires because the emergency exits are chained shut.

Again -- show me.

Let me be clear about my position: I think that dangerous, unsafe, wild, people-killing, billionaires-making cowboy capitalism is the only way that is known to work to get large numbers of people out of poverty quickly. Yes, you pay a price in factory disasters, burning rivers, and nouveau riche excesses. It's worth it.

Kaa

David G
06-04-2013, 11:12 AM
And it works REALLY REALLY WELL.

China's cowboy capitalism is how hundreds of millions of people climbed out of poverty. In fact, that's the only method which has been able to achieve that.

Kaa

Have you read Rostow on the Stages of Growth? You might find it interesting.

Keith Wilson
06-04-2013, 11:37 AM
Let me be clear about my position: I think that dangerous, unsafe, wild, people-killing, billionaires-making cowboy capitalism is the only way that is known to work to get large numbers of people out of poverty quickly. Yes, you pay a price in factory disasters, burning rivers, and nouveau riche excesses. It's worth it. Well, there's the central issue. If I thought that were the only way, I would agree with you. The recent development in China is definitely preferable to what came before for most people. However, I think you're indulging in sort of a inverse nirvana fallacy, the idea that no improvement is possible. I think it's possible to mitigate the harm somewhat (not entirely) while keeping most of the benefits, if we can learn form previous mistakes.

Kaa
06-04-2013, 11:46 AM
Have you read Rostow on the Stages of Growth? You might find it interesting.

I know the stages, though haven't read Rostow himself... They're mostly descriptive, though, no?

Kaa

Kaa
06-04-2013, 11:56 AM
However, I think you're indulging in sort of a inverse nirvana fallacy, the idea that no improvement is possible. I think it's possible to mitigate the harm somewhat (not entirely) while keeping most of the benefits, if we can learn form previous mistakes.

I haven't said that no improvement is possible (that would be silly) -- I said that it's "the only way that is known to work". It's very likely that it is possible to mitigate the harm, but there's a dual problem. First, we don't know the consequences of possible adjustments (the Law of Unintended Consequences has full sway here and experiments are... costly) though each person with an opinion is, of course, quite sure that his favorite method is guaranteed to work. Second, there are the practicalities of implementation. A great deal of things would be possible if only we had an unlimited supply of wise, virtuous, and benevolent warrior monks, erm, nope... philosopher kings, um, not quite right either, ah, got it -- civil servants! Without such a supply I'd prefer to rely on the brutalities of the free market rather than on the willingness and the abilities of bureaucracies. Especially if I need to radically change the existing situation.

Kaa

David G
06-04-2013, 11:58 AM
Yes, mostly descriptive...

But, by reading this seminal work, I suspect you'd see hints that the sort of cowboy capitalism you seem to regard as unavoidable at certain stages... is not, really. And this from a fairly conservative author. He was the NSA for Kennedy, pimped the whole Vietnam Expansion thing, and defended his actions unto death. Butted heads with Galbraith regularly during my time at UT-Austin. Loved to be challenged, though... and therefore tolerated me as one of his students.

You could stand to be both better-informed (but that's a process... we're all ignorant about scads of things to a greater or lesser degree)... and more careful with your language (and this is immediately achievable... much more in your control). What I believe to be more accurate is if you say - in response to Keith's notion of the possibility of improving the process - is that it's not been done to your knowledge. I know of at least two large-scale, successful development models that have done so in a number of ways.

Keith Wilson
06-04-2013, 12:06 PM
Without such a supply I'd prefer to rely on the brutalities of the free market rather than on the willingness and the abilities of bureaucracies.False dichotomy. But one way or another, you don't have to. AFAIK you live in a developed country where the previous excesses of capitalism have been to some extent tamed, and you can buy infant formula confident that it won't contain melamine and kill your baby. There's a certain resemblance to a hazing ritual; 'We had to put up with all this crap while we were developing, therefore the Chinese have to as well'.

Kaa
06-04-2013, 12:08 PM
Yes, mostly descriptive...

But, by reading this seminal work, I suspect you'd see hints that the sort of cowboy capitalism you seem to regard as unavoidable at certain stages... is not, really.

To repeat once again: show me.

Rostow formulated his theory in the 50s, I think, maybe by early 60s, and since then we've seen a LOT of new evidence about what works, economically, and what doesn't.

Kaa

Kaa
06-04-2013, 12:22 PM
False dichotomy.

You keep asserting things like that, but offer no arguments why this is so :-)


AFAIK you live in a developed country where the previous excesses of capitalism have been to some extent tamed, and you can buy infant formula confident that it won't contain melamine and kill your baby. There's a certain resemblance to a hazing ritual; 'We had to put up with all this crap while we were developing, therefore the Chinese have to as well'.

Nope, I don't think of it this way. I think of it as, basically, cost-benefit analysis where the value of the benefits changes according to, essentially, how wealthy you are.

If you are a peasant whose children keep dying because they are malnourished, antibiotics are rare if at all available, and the single doctor is two days away by ox-cart -- going to work in a dangerous polluting factory is a huge win for you. It is an excellent trade-off. Would going to work in a clean and safe factory with polite foremen and Western-level wages be an even bigger win? Sure, but it's not on offer. We can imagine all we want, but historic evidence points rather firmly at the the conclusion that trying to rein in cowboy capitalism too early, before middle class develops and gains political power, leads to bad things. Notably, local elites subvert economic development to enrich themselves and the whole thing sputters and dies -- look at most of Africa. Or even look at India -- thirty years ago it was at economic parity with China. And now?

You are claiming one could jump over the pains of the "growing up" period -- that's a frequent claim, but there's no evidence this can be done on the large scale.

Kaa

Kaa
06-04-2013, 12:29 PM
You could stand to be both better-informed (but that's a process... we're all ignorant about scads of things to a greater or lesser degree)... and more careful with your language (and this is immediately achievable... much more in your control).

The mien of a school marm suits you, I guess :-) Though it's nor a replacement for reasoned arguments... :-D

Kaa

Keith Wilson
06-04-2013, 01:29 PM
You are claiming one could jump over the pains of the "growing up" periodAgain, false dichotomy. There is a large and varied territory between the sort of capitalism that produced the Triangle Shirtwaist deaths and the sort of work environment we have today in developed countries. I'm saying that one can mitigate the pains of the developing period, and make them not so bad. Quite a few counties have done it to one degree or another. Brazil and Chile after the end of military rule have done pretty well, as has Uruguay; Costa Rica has done pretty well all along. Venezuela, OTOH, is a pretty good example of how not to do it.

Dan McCosh
06-04-2013, 02:54 PM
First building codes were about 1700 BC. Didn't seem all that effective.

Keith Wilson
06-04-2013, 03:09 PM
Didn't seem all that effective.How would we know?

Dan McCosh
06-04-2013, 03:17 PM
How would we know? They still build buildings without enough fire exits.

Waddie
06-04-2013, 03:18 PM
Not just Conservatives. As an OSHA trainer, I had lots of working class Democrats who didn't like OSHA rules, either.

regards,
Waddie

Garret
06-04-2013, 03:21 PM
Not just Conservatives. As an OSHA trainer, I had lots of working class Democrats who didn't like OSHA rules, either.

regards,
Waddie

And, even as an OSHA trainer, I think you'll have to agree that there are many OSHA site inspectors who are overbearing, nitpicking & come with a classic "I'm from the gov't & I'm here to tell you what to do" attitude.

wardd
06-04-2013, 03:26 PM
conditions should never be allowed to improve for the common people once there is a wealthy class too enjoys the fruits of their labor

Waddie
06-04-2013, 03:28 PM
And, even as an OSHA trainer, I think you'll have to agree that there are many OSHA site inspectors who are overbearing, nitpicking & come with a classic "I'm from the gov't & I'm here to tell you what to do" attitude.


I think being an OSHA inspector is a lot like being a cop. Eventually it wears on you. That's no excuse, but imagine going out to the same worksite and repeatedly finding violations over the same thing time after time. Seeing people injured or even killed because of someone's disregard for common safety. (OSHA investigates injury or deaths). After a while you might get callous. Not everyone, but some inspectors do. And there are a few who are just assholes form the start. But you can't fire government workers for being assholes.......

regards,
Waddie

Garret
06-04-2013, 03:34 PM
I think being an OSHA inspector is a lot like being a cop. Eventually it wears on you. That's no excuse, but imagine going out to the same worksite and repeatedly finding violations over the same thing time after time. Seeing people injured or even killed because of someone's disregard for common safety. (OSHA investigates injury or deaths). After a while you might get callous. Not everyone, but some inspectors do. And there are a few who are just xxxholes form the start. But you can't fire government workers for being zzzholes.......

regards,
Waddie

I'm sure that would wear on you. Imagine being on a crew that's getting yelled at for being behind, but is because an OSHA inspector visits 3x a week to write you up about finding a nail on the ground or leaving a screwdriver on a machine. That will wear on you too.

BrianW
06-04-2013, 04:08 PM
...imagine going out to the same worksite and repeatedly finding violations over the same thing time after time.


I'm sure that would wear on you. Imagine being on a crew that's getting yelled at for being behind, but is because an OSHA inspector visits 3x a week to write you up about finding a nail on the ground or leaving a screwdriver on a machine. That will wear on you too.

What's missing in those two statements is the management of the company.

Safety has to come from the top. Safety takes time, and company leaders have to give workers that extra time. I've worked for companies that actually allow for that extra time, and while the workers bitch a little, they know they're getting paid to be safe, and that dodging safety rules can get them fired.

Then I've worked for companies that preach safety, then tell you to get back to work, and hurry up.

htom
06-04-2013, 04:32 PM
I'm afraid my opinion of OSHA was set by the pair of inspectors who tried to fine us over $us10,000 in 1972 because we had 250 gallon cans of casein paint on a wooden storage rack -- because it was a fire hazard. We pointed out that it was not flammable paint, didn't matter. Paint, in cans, on wooden shelves, that it wasn't flammable paint made no difference to OSHA, it was a fire hazard. Judge finally threw it out; my boss demonstrated by starting a fire in a waste basket, and slowly poured a gallon of the paint into the bucket, putting out the fire.

OSHA may have been a good idea -- it may still be a good idea -- but the idiots are in charge.

skuthorp
06-04-2013, 04:48 PM
They probably pay peanuts and so get monkeys as inspectors htom. Of course there may be 'performance bonuses' involved.

Waddie
06-04-2013, 05:25 PM
What's missing in those two statements is the management of the company.

Safety has to come from the top. Safety takes time, and company leaders have to give workers that extra time. I've worked for companies that actually allow for that extra time, and while the workers bitch a little, they know they're getting paid to be safe, and that dodging safety rules can get them fired.

Then I've worked for companies that preach safety, then tell you to get back to work, and hurry up.

My experience was that the inspectors did tend to get nitpicky with chronic offenders. And Brian, you are exactly right about management. Most were pretty good, but some really didn't give a darn about their worker's safety. And their safety record usually showed it.

If you have time, utube the Big Blue crane disaster. The original crane operator refused to do the lift due to windy conditions, as he can legally do. So the company called around until they found someone who would. The company had a crappy safety record prior to this disaster, which got people killed (if I remember right). Then google utube for construction accidents. You all might appreciate OSHA a little more.

I remember on a Saturday several years ago driving past a church with a very tall, steep steeple. A commercial construction crew was working on it - no safety harness of any kind. 40 feet in the air. They only had nailed toeboards. Mexican workers. I stopped and told the foreman that the workers should get down and set up safety harness anchors and harness up properly before going back up. He said OK and I drove off. Later that day I was going back past this same church and there they were, working without any safety gear. I had exceeded my authority, as I was only a trainer, so I called a friend who was an inspector, and he came right out and wrote up the company. They paid the fine... and several days later I had to go past that church again....they were in harness. Every OSHA rule is there because somebody screwed up. And somebody got hurt or died before the rule was in place.

regards,
Waddie

David G
06-04-2013, 05:34 PM
To repeat once again: show me.

Rostow formulated his theory in the 50s, I think, maybe by early 60s, and since then we've seen a LOT of new evidence about what works, economically, and what doesn't.

Kaa

Sorry... no one has offered me a position as your personal tutor. I'd be willing to consider such a gig... but my rates would be high. I gave you a resource with which to lay the foundation of an understanding. Yes, we've studied the topic more since then, and branching out from Rostow would be productive. But if you don't understand algebra... it's kinda hard to do higher maths. If you don't want to educate yourself in that particular way... that's your choice. But the lack of understanding will continue to be reflected in your understanding of the world.

Yours Truly,
The Schoolmarm

Waddie
06-04-2013, 05:45 PM
Kaa, don't sweat it. David often gets petulant when he runs out of ideas to parrot.

regards,
Waddie

wardd
06-04-2013, 05:52 PM
West Fertilizer Company

John Smith
06-04-2013, 05:59 PM
Did workplace and environmental safety regulations prove to be the stumbling block?

OSHA had too few teeth. Let us remember the Massy mine collapse that killed 29 miners. Mine was constantly being fined for failing to meet safety standards. It should have been shut down till those standards were met. Same with the BP rig in the Gulf which killed 11 men.


Both were allowed to keep functioning although known to be unsafe. No one in either case went to trial.

John Smith
06-04-2013, 06:03 PM
They still build buildings without enough fire exits.

If there are enough exits, will the fire go out? That's a pun, I think.

John Smith
06-04-2013, 06:07 PM
I'm afraid my opinion of OSHA was set by the pair of inspectors who tried to fine us over $us10,000 in 1972 because we had 250 gallon cans of casein paint on a wooden storage rack -- because it was a fire hazard. We pointed out that it was not flammable paint, didn't matter. Paint, in cans, on wooden shelves, that it wasn't flammable paint made no difference to OSHA, it was a fire hazard. Judge finally threw it out; my boss demonstrated by starting a fire in a waste basket, and slowly poured a gallon of the paint into the bucket, putting out the fire.

OSHA may have been a good idea -- it may still be a good idea -- but the idiots are in charge.

This is all too common. As I've posted before, the murder in my post office was followed by endless "safety talks" advising us what to look for in our fellow employees in an effort to predict who might decide to murder folks. The kid who actually did the murder had exhibited NONE of the characteristics we were advised to look for.

John Smith
06-04-2013, 06:08 PM
My experience was that the inspectors did tend to get nitpicky with chronic offenders. And Brian, you are exactly right about management. Most were pretty good, but some really didn't give a darn about their worker's safety. And their safety record usually showed it.

If you have time, utube the Big Blue crane disaster. The original crane operator refused to do the lift due to windy conditions, as he can legally do. So the company called around until they found someone who would. The company had a crappy safety record prior to this disaster, which got people killed (if I remember right). Then google utube for construction accidents. You all might appreciate OSHA a little more.

I remember on a Saturday several years ago driving past a church with a very tall, steep steeple. A commercial construction crew was working on it - no safety harness of any kind. 40 feet in the air. They only had nailed toeboards. Mexican workers. I stopped and told the foreman that the workers should get down and set up safety harness anchors and harness up properly before going back up. He said OK and I drove off. Later that day I was going back past this same church and there they were, working without any safety gear. I had exceeded my authority, as I was only a trainer, so I called a friend who was an inspector, and he came right out and wrote up the company. They paid the fine... and several days later I had to go past that church again....they were in harness. Every OSHA rule is there because somebody screwed up. And somebody got hurt or died before the rule was in place.

regards,
Waddie

Anyone do jail time?

Waddie
06-04-2013, 07:22 PM
Anyone do jail time?

Not that I know of on any of the events I described, but jail time for infractions, even when people get hurt of killed, is rare. Who do you send to jail? The worker who commits the violation, the foreman in charge, the company owner? Usually all you can prove is negligence, not intent. And intent is pretty much a required proof for jail time.

regards,
Waddie

David G
06-04-2013, 08:18 PM
Kaa, don't sweat it. David often gets petulant when he runs out of ideas to parrot.

regards,
Waddie

Not petulant at all. You really do need to be more accurate. If you want to critique my style... I'd suggest "supercilious little snot". For that, I'd have no viable defense. Or call me lazy. In some ways... that IS the case here.

Oh... and parroting ideas? Who was I emulating when I brought Rostow and the stages of growth into the discussion? I'm afraid you're incorrect again. Bit I suppose you're used to that.

You see, I choose not to expend a lot of energy educating those who have shown themselves not demonstrably open to such education. I have thought about it, though, and will go so far as to offer two examples. If you truly are interested in the topic, and open to the possibility that Kaa's contention is incorrect, do a bit of research and report back. What do you think of the possibility that the lessons from an Indian state, and a complex of worker owned and managed businesses in the Pyranees could be scaled up even further? The names to research are: Kerala, India... and Mondragon (named after the small town where the movement originated).

Waddie
06-04-2013, 08:29 PM
David G; I choose not to expend a lot of energy educating those who have shown themselves not demonstrably open to such education.

So your mission in the bilge is to educate, but if they aren't open to your view of the world it's a waste of your time. You must be a very frustrated individual......... :)

regards,
Waddie

David G
06-04-2013, 08:41 PM
So your mission in the bilge is to educate, but if they aren't open to your view of the world it's a waste of your time. You must be a very frustrated individual......... :)

regards,
Waddie

Get back to me when you have something to say about Kerala or Mondragon as they relate to the topic at hand.

Waddie
06-04-2013, 11:36 PM
Get back to me when you have something to say about Kerala or Mondragon as they relate to the topic at hand.

School marm, quit trying to boss me around......

regards,
Waddie

David G
06-05-2013, 12:28 AM
Oh crap... the Schoolmarm is disciplined by The Principal <yikes>

hokiefan
06-05-2013, 12:58 AM
OSHA had too few teeth. Let us remember the Massy mine collapse that killed 29 miners. Mine was constantly being fined for failing to meet safety standards. It should have been shut down till those standards were met. Same with the BP rig in the Gulf which killed 11 men.


Both were allowed to keep functioning although known to be unsafe. No one in either case went to trial.

Just for the record mines are not regulated by OSHA, they are regulated by MSHA (Mine Safety and Health Agency).

I have dealt with OSHA regulations for many years. All of the regulations have good intent, although not all are well written. Our facility had a wall-to-wall inspection in the late 80's after a fatality in the papermill in the complex. That is an experience you don't want to go through. From that we spent about $3 million correcting safety deficiencies. Some of that money was wasted, but the majority of it was well spent. One of the things we bitched about at the time was that the ispector was walking right past the biggest dangers in the plant because they were process hazards and OSHA really didn't cover them at all.

Then came the PSM (Process Safety Management) regulations in the early 90's. They were all about process hazards yet could be printed on about 3 pages. Short and sweet. And probably the best safety regulation ever written. Yeah, it created a crap-ton of work to get and stay compliant. But with a little industry knowledge you read those regulations and say, "Any well run chemical facility really should be doing all of this stuff anyway."

Cheers,

Bobby

BrianW
06-05-2013, 02:13 AM
Same with the BP rig in the Gulf which killed 11 men.


Both were allowed to keep functioning although known to be unsafe. No one in either case went to trial.

I'd have to research the details on that one.

It's my personal experience that BP is an extremely safety conscious company. I've had many hours of BP safety training, all on company time. All serious. Always enough time allowed for safety.

Perhaps a subcontractor had a safety issue, which in my experience, if observed by BP safety personnel, would be correct immediately.

hokiefan
06-05-2013, 02:42 AM
I'd have to research the details on that one.

It's my personal experience that BP is an extremely safety conscious company. I've had many hours of BP safety training, all on company time. All serious. Always enough time allowed for safety.

Perhaps a subcontractor had a safety issue, which in my experience, if observed by BP safety personnel, would be correct immediately.

I have not read much of this report about the BP Macondo incident, in fact I just found it, but the executive summary is pretty damning of the organizational culture of all the organizations involved, particularly BP. The mistakes made were not in the realm of worker safety, where most of your training would have been; but in the area of system safety. I'll have to read the rest of this as it relates to chemical industry safety in many ways. In our industry we call it Occupational Safety and Process Safety Management. Distinctly different disciplines.

http://ccrm.berkeley.edu/pdfs_papers/bea_pdfs/dhsgfinalreport-march2011-tag.pdf

Cheers,

Bobby

John Smith
06-05-2013, 06:09 AM
Not that I know of on any of the events I described, but jail time for infractions, even when people get hurt of killed, is rare. Who do you send to jail? The worker who commits the violation, the foreman in charge, the company owner? Usually all you can prove is negligence, not intent. And intent is pretty much a required proof for jail time.

regards,
Waddie

Negligent homicide, I believe, is a crime. All decisions are made by people, and those people hide behind the organization, be it public or private. We allow them to be insulated from personal responsibility for their decisions, even when those decisions kill people.

Someone in BP et al, is responsible for the workplace meeting safety standards. That person needs to go to trial.

We can go back to the Ford Explorer roll overs. Both Firestone and Ford knew this was a problem and that it was killing people. Someone in both companies (a person) made the decision not to do anything about it. I cannot believe those individuals cannot be identified and tried.

If we went down that path, then the safety standards would be taken more seriously.

John Smith
06-05-2013, 06:15 AM
Just for the record mines are not regulated by OSHA, they are regulated by MSHA (Mine Safety and Health Agency).

I have dealt with OSHA regulations for many years. All of the regulations have good intent, although not all are well written. Our facility had a wall-to-wall inspection in the late 80's after a fatality in the papermill in the complex. That is an experience you don't want to go through. From that we spent about $3 million correcting safety deficiencies. Some of that money was wasted, but the majority of it was well spent. One of the things we bitched about at the time was that the ispector was walking right past the biggest dangers in the plant because they were process hazards and OSHA really didn't cover them at all.

Then came the PSM (Process Safety Management) regulations in the early 90's. They were all about process hazards yet could be printed on about 3 pages. Short and sweet. And probably the best safety regulation ever written. Yeah, it created a crap-ton of work to get and stay compliant. But with a little industry knowledge you read those regulations and say, "Any well run chemical facility really should be doing all of this stuff anyway."

Cheers,

Bobby

Many regulations have good intentions, but are not well written. Some here may have a better memory than I, but I recall some Coast Guard regs about safety and boat designs many years ago, and according to those regs, many of the small craft at Mystic Seaport that had long traditions of seaworthiness were not seaworthy.

I also remember, in the 70's when we had long gas lines, Congress was busy writing a law to mandate oil companies make more gasoline and less heating oil. Fortunately someone advised them one was the bi-product of the other, and there was little flexibility of this sort available.

I can also look back to the shuttle that exploded because the "O" ring failed in weather that it was known to fail in. Someone made that decision, and people died.

My point is that something is very wrong when a person can hide within a bigger organization, make a decision that ends up in someone's death, and the worst that happens is the organization gets fined. The individual responsible is insulated from prosecution.

John Smith
06-05-2013, 07:47 AM
I'd have to research the details on that one.

It's my personal experience that BP is an extremely safety conscious company. I've had many hours of BP safety training, all on company time. All serious. Always enough time allowed for safety.

Perhaps a subcontractor had a safety issue, which in my experience, if observed by BP safety personnel, would be correct immediately.

Well, the fact is the rig went "BOOM" and people died. Something was not safe.

hokiefan
06-05-2013, 09:05 AM
Well, the fact is the rig went "BOOM" and people died. Something was not safe.

That doesn't necessarily mean it was known unsafe.