Saturday, January 10, 2009


For those of you who don't know what OSHA is, they are a federal agency who police private workplaces in search of hazards to workers. If, for instance, your workplace happens to have zero fire extinguishers, or maybe the designated smoking room is adjacent to lots of bottled oxygen, OSHA will fine you and give you a neatly framed citation and ask you to display it for all potential employees to see. This is of course in theory a great thing.

But when the OSHA woman comes - unexpectedly, as always - she drills me for hours and I get the feeling she used to be a prosecuting attorney.
"Earlier you said you measured citric acid at the sink near the eyewash."
"Is that in the sink or near the sink?"
"Is that in the left or right basin?"
"The . . . right."
"Is that in the actual basin, or in a bucket you place in the basin and then pour water into."
"A bucket."
"Does the water go in first or the acid?"
"The water."
"Do you stir with a plastic, metal, or wooden spoon?"
"Earlier you said metal. Would you like to retract that?"
"Yes, metal. No. Yes. I don't know."
"Would you like to retract that? Metal or plastic?"

But what got me through these four hours yesterday was the constant and comfortable reminder that I was at the end of my underwear drawer, and so I was wearing my silk boxers.


Blogger The Modesto Kid said...

So what is it, metal or plastic? Does it matter from an occupational safety and health standpoint?

11/1/09 6:46 PM  
Blogger Ryan said...

It's metal and plastic. And sometimes my hand. It would matter from an occupational safety standpoint because certain caustic chemicals might eat away at plastic. Then my hand.

11/1/09 9:06 PM  
Blogger The Modesto Kid said...

Oh I see. I guess I wouldn't have thought of citric acid as a particularly caustic compound. But then I don't have any experience with pure citric acid except in crystallized form, which is called "sour salt" and might not be as concentrated as the liquid stuff.

12/1/09 11:07 AM  
Blogger Ryan said...

Right. Citric acid is not caustic. But other chemicals we use which I did not mention in the post are very caustic (high ph, bases).

12/1/09 6:53 PM  
Blogger The Neoskeptic said...

i'm guessing the osha agent was so tough on you cause she could *sense* there was something slippery and smooth about you. too smooth.

unfortunately she mistook your sexy undergarments vibe for "lying about workplace safety"

13/1/09 10:03 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home