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August 04, 2008

Comments

Former OSHA Guy

Sad to say, OSHA is considered by most industry to be small potatoes, a paper tiger at worst. They come along after an accident full of questions, bluster and intent, but prior to an accident, the most important time for prevention, are more of an infrequent annoyance.

Chances are if you look at the paper mill's citations, you'll see a lot of distracting piddly stuff unrelated to serious issues (grinder guards, material safety data sheets, air nozzle pressure) and maybe no relevant stuff at all.

Chances are the fines were quite affordable - bargains for such a large company - and were substantially reduced to settle the case.

Chances are the paper mill gets inspected infrequently, unlike a mine, and puts OSHA low on the priority list. And yet, chances are, OSHA's spotty rules are a big factor in what the company does for safety, and some serious, unregulated hazards such as ergonomic issues are hardly discussed as a result.

No wonder the plant's chances were good for a terrible accident.

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