Dueling Blogs Show OSHA in a New Light

There's a street fight going on in the small world of workplace safety and health blogs. Not to say there aren't intelligent, well-tended blogs keeping the online audience informed and entertained -- The Pump Handle and Charleston Gazette reporter Ken Ward, Jr.'s blogs spring immediately to mind. But if you want inside dope on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the OSHA Underground site was about all you could find.

Until now. Aiming his (her?) posts directly and sometimes pointedly at specific OSHA Underground posts by Kane, OSHA Aboveground's Abel lampoons, for example, a recent item that credited new Labor Secretary Hilda Solis' aggressive approach for the $1.2 million in penalties and 21 alleged willful violations OSHA issued last week against G.S. Robins & Co. of St. Louis, Mo., d/b/a Ro-Corp Inc. Abel points out the case began under previous OSHA chief Edwin Foulke Jr. and couldn't have been made harsher by Solis even if she wanted to.

Kane and Abel don't disclose their real names. Each has posted an item and link complimenting the other. Here's how Abel describes him/herself: "Like Kane, I've worked for OSHA a long time, the difference I think, is that I believe that in order to make things change, you have to have rational reasons why things aren't right, and then you have to provide reasonable alternatives. I'll explore some of these ideas more in the blog. Having said that, I encourage everyone to read or subscribe to http://oshaunderground.blogspot.com/, they do provide good information. To contact me, send me an e-mail at: [email protected]."

Foulke said Friday he believes Solis will indeed be aggressive and already signaled her intentions when she told an AFL-CIO gathering that she intends to "put enforcement back in the Department of Labor." Foulke will be a speaker on March 20 and March 26 webinars offered by his law firm, Fisher & Phillips LLP, that are titled "OSHA: Be Prepared for Sweeping Workplace Safety Changes."

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