Why Elections Matter

If you have been reading public health blogs for a couple of years, you probably know, and miss, Confined Space, a blog about worker health and safety issues. If you don’t, you missed a great blog, the kind that really educates you about an issue that it’s hard for non-professionals to learn about otherwise. To quote revere at Effect Measure:

“It wasn’t just a health and safety blog. It was the health and safety blog. It was almost the only way most health and safety professionals could keep track of what was happening in their field politically. (…) Jordan wasn’t just any old blogger, either. As a blogger myself I now appreciate much more fully the skill and dedication it took to put out such a high quality product every day, day after day. He was an amazing writer and reporter and he did it all at the end of a long workday, on his own. And as a defender of workers and their health and safety he was in the very top rank.”

Confined Space closed up shop a bit over a year ago when Jordan Barab, who wrote it, went to work for the House Education and Labor Committee. (Earlier, he “spent 16 years running AFSCME’s health and safety program; served as a Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary for OSHA; was a recommendations specialist for the Chemical Safety Board.”) And now guess what? From the Effect Measure post that I linked above, which is aptly titled “Miracle at OSHA“:

“Jordan Barab has been named Deputy Assistant Secretary for OSHA and until a permanent OSHA Director is named he will be Acting Assistant Secretary (i.e., OSHA Director) (…)

If you go back through the archives of Confined Space you’ll find post after post taking the Bush administration OSHA to task for falling down on the job of protecting workers’ health. Now the hand that typed those posts will be running the agency.

The bottom line here is that workers who would have died under the old regime will now live. Mirabile dictu!

This is a wonderful, wonderful thing.

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