New documentary of the politics of OHS regulation in the United States

Two years ago, Rachel Maddow in the United States reported on the performance of the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) under President George W Bush revealed by the Washington Post.  Cavelight Films is in the process of completing a film, Cost of Construction, First video below) which looks at the big OSHA and political context as it relates to the safety performance on a major construction project in Las Vegas.

From the trailer above, and additional information available through the Cavelight website, the film  illustrates the dubious societal value of basic capitalist approaches to workplace safety.

It is important for all OHS professionals to watch OHS regulation and programs that operate and develop in the United States for the spread of US culture is, in many countries, introducing a perspective on the law that increasingly is out of sync with the laws and values  in one’s local country.  It could be argued that Lord Young’s recent review of OHS and the “compensation culture”in the UK is an example of the US cultural spread.

Documentaries about worker safety receive small audiences out of the already small documentary pool but they are becoming more important as traditional investigative  journalism is underfunded and alternative methods are still in their infancy.  The recent political stink about Wikileaks has shown the power and influence of new media upon which modern documentary film making and other investigations will build.

Kevin Jones

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