Much of the discussion about OSHA these days is about whether the agency has gone too far with some of its regulations and programs. No matter where you stand, though, it is good every once in a while to remember the reasons for OSHA’s creation.
A visit to the museum beneath the Gateway Arch in St. Louis illustrates some of those reasons. Visitors there can view an incredible video about the construction of the Arch in 1965, a few years before the creation of OSHA in 1971.
The video does an great job of portraying the skill and courage of the Ironworkers who built the 630-foot-tall structure. It also is a reminder of just how far we have come in safety in the United States. Workers on the Arch are shown hundreds of feet in the air, not tied off. For those so inclined, watching them work can induce a powerful case of vertigo. (Amazingly, no workers were seriously injured during construction.)
The whole video is worth watching, but viewing just the first few minutes of the section below makes the point.