Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Timing is everything

Who needs OSHA, anyway? We know the Bush administration and its patrons don't. We know the right wing nutcases at Cato Insititute and the Heritage Foundation don't. We know the Republican congress doesn't. Who does?

This via (Koufax Award winning blog) Confined Space:
Medina Township - Building inspectors say they got there just in time.

They had just shut down construction of a new building for the Goddard School for Early Childhood Development, moving the work crews out from under the newly raised roof.
No more than 10 minutes later, the roof fell in and part of the walls collapsed. An OSHA investigator was on the scene, as were county inspectors. OSHA is investigating.

County Building Inspector Art Verdoorn said local contractors had their eyes on the Georgia company that was erecting the preschool on Normandy Park Road because the trusses for the roof were bowing.

Someone made an anonymous call to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration office in Cleveland and someone called Verdoorn. By coincidence, both agencies made a surprise visit to the work site a week ago Monday, just in time to issue a stop-work order before the collapse.

Verdoorn said the exterior walls were up and half the roof was on but the structure wasn't braced correctly. Verdoorn estimated a crew of six was pulled off the structure, some on the high beams and some inside, minutes before the collapse.

Standard Building Co. of Atlanta requested the building permit, Verdoorn said. OSHA records list it as a non-union company.

An OSHA spokesman in Washington said three complaints have been filed against Standard Building, two in 2005 and one in March on a job in Elyria.

The company was fined $1,200 for failing to provide a safe work environment for employees after a worker was struck by a forklift on a Georgia job. The two other complaints were unfounded, an OSHA spokesman said. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
This "just in time" is great but doesn't quite balance out all the other "not in times." Like this one (regular type, Jordan at Confined Space, small type news clips. See link for sources.):
Jose Rodriguez Garcia of Mission, Texas, was killed yesterday when a 10-foot deep trench collapsed on top of him. But hey, what are you going to do? Accidents happen.

Santa Cruz Irrigation District Manager Roy Garza described Rodriguez as “a good worker. A very good worker; dedicated to his job; always on time. Just a good darn worker.”

Garza says his workers always practice safety. “They're careful. They don't horse around. They don't play around during the job. It just happened we had an accident,” he said.

The reporter, in this case, thought to ask a few more questions:

But some rescue workers say the accident could have been prevented. Edinburg firefighter Ubaldo Perez said, “If there would've been safety measures before it occurred. Prevention would've been the best scenario.”

Firefighters say a 10-foot trench requires safety measures. They believe there should have been reinforcements so the dirt would not cave in.
But that would have been hard work, according to Garza.

Garza tells us why reinforcements weren’t used. “Okay, it is hard to provide in this particular job. You have telephone lines. They go this way. You have to get a back hoe. This job would've taken an hour to do and maybe they didn't put the right protection they needed,” he said. When asked if they should have, he replied, “I believe so.”

Yeah, didn't want to spend another hour. Oh well, maybe next time. (Confined Space)
Mid-term elections, November 2006. As they say, timing is everything.