Regarding OSHA's ability to impact safety culture, in 1986, the American Dental Association unsuccessfully sued OSHA to block the Bloodborne Pathogens Std (BBP). The ADA argued before the US Court of Appeals that if OSHA forced dentists to wear gloves, patients would be freaked out and no one would go to the dentist.

Since the standard, hepatitis B cases among healthcare workers have plunged from 17,000 a year to less then 300.

Later, as a result of the Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act of 2000 which amended the 1991 BBP standard to require safer needles, needlesticks have been cut by more then half.

I suggest that this one standard has done much to change the safety culture in the healthcare industry that now employs more workers than manufacturing (13.7 million vs. 11.5 million).

We still have a long way to go to address MSDs, workplace violence and airborne infectious diseases in this industry, but how many folks would go to the dentist today, if your dentist DIDN'T wear gloves? Sounds like a change in safety culture as a direct result of an OSHA standard to me.

Bill Borwegen