August 6, 2013 7 Comments
Let’s cover some ground today shall we, on a couple of fronts.
First this caught my eye this yesterday morning over at RedState. Wm Craig wrote this. I haven’t quite decided whether I completely agree with his points, or think its more of an anti-American coincidence. I’m also not convinced that it’s not a distinction without a difference. Here’s part of it, but do read it all, it makes a lot of sense.
One of the themes we as conservatives keep getting beat over the head with is our dislike for OSHA and its apparatchiks, and no, I won’t apologise for that. Nobody, and I mean nobody has done more in the last 20 years to cause jobs to go overseas than OSHA. I’m not saying that workplace safety isn’t important, cause it is. But you know, if a company is to be profitable long-term, it can’t go around killing and maiming its employees.
Yes we’ve all read about the heartless railroads in the golden age. But like everything else, there are at least two sides to the story. Remember, except for a few outstanding railroads, read that as Pennsylvania, Burlington, and maybe New York Central, these road were all wildly undercapitalized, usually by British firms. Remember also that railroad cars were much smaller than even the semi-trailers we are used to, so there were a lot of cars. Same thing in locomotives.
So given the givens as my chemistry teacher was wont to say, how much do you think it cost to equip every rail car and locomotive in the country almost simultaneously with air brakes (which are still expensive, ask any truck driver) and the Janney automatic coupler. In 1880 dollars, I’d guess about $250-300 per car and there were thousands of cars. And if you put a train together without an air system in the middle, you don’t have brakes on the train behind that car, and if you reshuffle the train to put it at the rear, you’re going to be very inefficient. Same thing with the couplers.
So the thing is, like everything else, there is a cost benefit ratio involved here. Workplace safety is always a priority, at least in any field with skilled labor. One of the thing that OSHA has done is remove that responsibility from the employers, it’s assumed if you follow OSHA that you are doing it right, and so innovation ceases because innovation is never government approved, and therefore you are sticking your neck out and God help you if it doesn’t work.
This came to mind yesterday as the London Daily Mail had an article on a safety magazine for workers on the Great Western Rwy. (UK). Here’s a bit of it.
Health and Safety in the workplace began with an illustrated magazine for workers on the railways 100 years ago this month, according to a historian.
The magazine paved the way for today’s health and safety laws, said Dr Mike Esbester, of the University of Portsmouth.
The feature attempts to inform workers for Great Western Railway of the dangers they face in August 1913.Modern attempts to inform workers of the dangers they could face at work began with this illustrated magazine published in 1913
The railway workers were reminded to carry out their work as safely as possible, whether crossing the railway line, wearing goggles to protect their eyes or loading and unloading goods.
Having studied the evolution of health and safety messages over a century, Dr Esbester says that the country has seen enormous changes in the way we have been ‘taught, cajoled, encouraged and warned’ by the authorities to safeguard ourselves.
He said: ‘Before 1913, safety warnings to workers were very top-down and text heavy.
‘August 1913 saw an entirely different tone and style, it was a massive change.
Good workers have always been rare, and worth protecting, Government has made that job harder, not easier
- OSHA Takes Aim at Phony Outreach Training Ad Claims; On Site, Online OSHA Training Providers Must Follow Guidelines According to William Mizel, CSP (prweb.com)
- Are OSHA’s safety citations of Midland Davis Corp. unfair? (mysafetysign.com)
- Famous tax-cheating Congressman compares Tea Party to segregationist “White Crackers” (legalinsurrection.com)