PVV – a little ditty ’bout OSHA

Generally, OSHA-related discussions are frustrating, tedious, sometimes scary, and at best boring. Very rarely does OSHA inspire humor.

Until now.

Earlier today, @maddie273 shared this super funny little ditty with me via twitter. The song, posted by YouTube user marsht9, was described as being “…about OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard (HAZCOM). Watch it if you have ever been involved in safety training of any kind…”

Now obviously, OSHA-related things have been on my mind lately; and I got a real kick out of this tune. Give it a listen:

Heee!! Funny, right? My favorite part is “Workplace safety is concrete, not an abstraction!! Workplace safety is concrete, not an abstraction!!” I always like it when a serious message can be delivered in a fun, lighthearted way. Specifically, this song made me think about…

– the very real extent to which OSHA is capable of regulating workplaces. Now granted, they (OSHA reps) actually have to show up to enforce their rules; but the degree to which they can monitor every moment of persons’ occupational experiences is astounding. Certainly this degree of monitoring could be used to do some real good… but it could also be used for pure evil.

– the letter of the law and the either/or nature of health and safety policy – once again, “Workplace safety is concrete, not an abstraction!!” I take this to mean that (presumably) the rules are clear, spelled out, and non-negotiable. There is no room for special cases, exceptions, and whatnot.


In sociology, in feminism, in social justice, and in life, nothing is concrete… at least in my experience. There are always exceptions and parts that don’t necessarily fit. There are always abstractions.

So then, in a perfectly OSHA-regulated world, what happens to the abstractions (in the workplace and otherwise)?

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