Tom started in safety at Monsanto in 1970. He has a chemical engineering degree from Auburn University. He retired from Monsanto as Manager of Regulatory Affairs in 1997. Tom has twice served on the ASSE board of directors. He is a Fellow of ASSE and a former ASSE Safety Professional of the Year. He is currently a part-time consultant and says his career in safety “has been for me the most satisfying and rewarding career than I could have ever imagined.”
Aaron Trippler’s commentary on “When OSHA Wins By Losing” (ISHN OSHA Regulatory Alert—03-17-14) was interesting. However, I believe the winners when OSHA loses have not been appropriately identified. The real winners are: 1. S&H Excellence/Sustainability and 2. S&H Professionals.
OSHA may be “puny” relative to other government agencies but it is far from puny for its regulated community jurisdiction, particularly, for safety professionals and our employers, when the leadership of OSHA is all about radical left wing political agenda.
The current administration looks to Saul Alinsky’s “Twelve Rules for Radicals” for their guidance. OSHA has now stepped in this direction and away from safety principles. Their first foray was the Shaming Press Releases.
This is the time of year when OSHA announces their top ten citations of the past fiscal year. There are few changes in this top- ten list year after year. Even though the list is of the complete standard’s name, it is usually only one or two sections of a standard that repeatedly makes this list.
There was a statement in a commentary in the Wall Street Journal a couple of months ago: "A fundamental principle in medicine is that if you get the diagnosis wrong, you'll probably apply the wrong therapy. A corollary is that if the therapy isn't working, increasing the dose may make things worse."
When Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis resigned her position, the talk became what might happen to OSHA’s planned Injury/Illness Prevention Standard (I2P2). Secretary Solis had announced this initiative in early 2010. The stated purpose was to require employers to establish a plan that would prevent violations of OSHA standards and that would protect workers from violations of their workplace rights.
One objection of mine to adding more OSHA standards is that the standards cited frequently (top ten in frequency) remain generally the same year to year. Sometimes they shift position in frequency order. Sometimes the numbers of citations trend up or down, but generally it all remains in a controlled range.
At ASSE’s Professional Development Conference for the past several years there has been a session entitled Executive Safety Summit. A panel of CEOs or senior managers and a moderator discuss their views of safety. Good stuff. Near the end of the session is the most important question: What are your recommendations for the safety professionals in attendance here today? The above title was one answer.
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