From: ILPI Support <info**At_Symbol_Here**ILPI.COM>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] The Story of OSHA
Date: Sun, 22 Mar 2020 21:35:53 -0400
Reply-To: ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**PRINCETON.EDU>
Message-ID: EECE5ED7-07AB-4E4F-A8E1-914915254D68**At_Symbol_Here**
In-Reply-To <2375ddbf-c0db-5405-b258-07a3166b5129**At_Symbol_Here**>

I was tweaking the uploads of this week's posts to the DHCAS archives at today and thought I would look at what the censorship was about. What's old is new again.

I can't believe this post was actually on the DOL web site (and is now apparently deleted).  Thanks to the Internet Wayback Machine (part of the Internet Archive), take a gander at this: There is A LOT in here, but just a few highlights:

The key decision affecting OSHA during any Administration is the choice of a person to head it. In February 1981 President Reagan announced that he would nominate Thorne G. Auchter for that post. Auchter was the 35 year old executive vice president of Auchter Co., a family owned construction firm based in Jacksonville, Florida. He had served in President Reagan's 1980 election campaign as special events director for Florida...
The major factor that shaped OSHA's agenda during Thorne Auchter's administration was Regulatory Relief-
Regulatory Relief had already begun with a temporary "freeze" on the last minute Carter regulations-
Heading a cadre of young political appointees that came into OSHA -
Early in Auchter's tenure at OSHA his deregulatory impulses, lack of occupational health expertise, and inexperience in dealing with Congress and the bureaucracy combined to result in a tangled and controversial series of events involving the potential dangers of formaldehyde-.

[Although gotta give some credit]: Efforts to develop a dust standard to prevent grain elevator explosions begun under Eula Bingham were revived by Thorne Auchter. [as many on the list know, the OSHA Combustible Dust Standard was stillborn, although elements have been incorporated into HazCom and other standards]

Now for the crazy irony.  Auchter's own son died in a construction accident, one for which a $14,000 OSHA fine was assessed 

Besides that macabre detail there the article notes:

OSHA's staff was slashed from 3,015 in 1980 to 2,355 in 1984; one third of its field offices were closed; and its inspection staff reduced by 25 percent. Workplace inspections declined from 63,363 in 1980 to 59,452 in 1986. He was known for unilaterally dismissing citations against companies if he thought OSHA inspectors had been too aggressive. After a tumultuous few years, marked by open warfare between labor and OSHA, Auchter resigned in 1984.

Another historical perspective on OSHA here:

Rob Toreki

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On Mar 22, 2020, at 8:52 AM, Samuella Sigmann <sigmannsb**At_Symbol_Here**> wrote:

Rob - Thanks for the link to these historical films.  I will be pointing my safety class students to these.  I went looking and as you said there are some really interesting things there.  I found one that is from the 60s called "LOX" which is about the hazards of liquid oxygen, but done in a very odd way which is trying to be funny - heads up it is gruesome at the end. 

Great way to pass quarantine time.

On 3/21/2020 4:59 PM, ILPI Support wrote:
I discovered that The Internet Archive has a thousands of videos available for free.  As I was looking around the Government Films section and found this one which was apparently censored:

Description: Occupational Health and Safety Administration Department of Labor United States Government The Story of OSHA (1980) This film tells workers how OSHA was set up to stem the tide of disease, injury, and death, and what their rights are under the law. Explains how NIOSH conducts tests, how standards are set, and how OSHA investigates complaints. Produced and distributed by OSHA in 1980. Then in 1981, the incoming head of OSHA Thorne Auchter recalled and destroyed most copies. A few copies were kept alive by renegade union officials who refused to return their copies. The penalty for being discovered in possession of one of these films was loosing all OSHA funding for their safety and health programs. There are 3 films in this series: The Story of OSHA | Worker to Worker | Can't Take No More This film was preserved through the years through the efforts of Mark Catlin, who made this and other censored OSHA films available for digitizing.

All kinds of stuff in that archive - nuclear test films, WWII War Dept films, battling anopheles mosquitos to curb malaria (featuring the Seven Dwarfs) etc.  Don't miss those entertaining ones like Duck and Cover, Sex Madness, etc.

Doing my part to ensure you aren't too productive working from home!

Rob Toreki
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Samuella B. Sigmann, MS, NRCC-CHO
Immediate Past Chair, ACS Division of Chemical Health & Safety, 2020
Senior Lecturer/Safety Committee Chair/Director of Stockroom
Appalachian State University
525 Rivers Street
Boone, NC 28608
Phone: 828 262 2755
Fax: 828 262 6558
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