Posted by | July 9, 2010 14:28 | Filed under: Top Stories

by Stuart Shapiro

We are so used to incompetent governance (“Heckuva Job Brownie”) that we are quick to blame federal officials at the slightest sense of wrongdoing. So when many Deepwater spill folks started to get sick, many blamed OSHA for not forcing BP to allow workers to wear respirators. It turns out the story is more complicated than that.  Jordan Barab, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Health and Safety, spoke with Firedoglake.

“Hundreds of workers in the Gulf Coast cleaning up BP’s oil disaster have reported symptoms of nausea, vomiting, nose bleeds, and headaches, but those “almost all have been heat related,” [says Barab].

Barab…says that despite widespread assumptions that workers are sick from exposure to oil, “we haven’t really found that yet.”

“We’re really looking, but haven’t found anything significant in the chemical samplings. We’re looking for people getting sick, but it tends to be overwhelmingly heat related,”

We have good people at OSHA now. People that care about worker health and would be the first to scream if something bad was going on. That’s the thing about having competent folks in charge, you can start to trust what they say again.

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Alan Colmes is the publisher of Liberaland.