Friday, April 01, 2005

OSHA Kills!

Okay, maybe my title is a bit inflammatory, but still here's a study that concludes that some regulations from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration may have caused the deaths of firefighters. Here are some examples:

* Self-contained breathing devices and fire-retardant clothing adds at least 60 pounds of weight to firefighters, which contribute to the excessive physical stress and exhaustion that often precedes cardiac arrest.
* Firefighters regularly train to work under zero-visibility conditions by using their breathing devices, but fighting fire under those conditions exposes them to life-threatening disorientation created by denser smoke.
* Mandated protective gear has contributed to firefighters being more aggressive with interior fire operations; they also inhibit firefighters from using their ears as thermometers to sense when it is time to leave the building.