OSHA springs surprise inspection on city - Must Read Alaska
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Saturday, October 16, 2021
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OSHA springs surprise inspection on city

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State of Alaska Occupational, Safety and Health inspectors stopped by City Hall for a surprise inspection Thursday. Municipal Manager Amy Demboski told department heads in a memo that the inspectors came into her office this morning to announce the inspection.

Longtime workers said they have never seen this before and believe it must be complaint-driven from an aggrieved employee.

The two inspectors asked for the last three years of some of the municipality’s safety log. Based on their review of the logs, they’ll visit departments they choose to inspect without advance warning. They also showed up at the Port.

“We welcome them in with open arms. We care about our employees safety. If there are areas of improvement that are needed, our goal is to keep our employees safe,” Demboski.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • People of all positions working for the government tend to be Grumpy. I don’t know why it is! They have everything! Good pay, Good benefits, Stable time schedule, and Good work. Same thing about corporate employees tend to lean to the grumpy side of life. Hahaha

  • More Marxist harassment from the clowns on the Assembly.

  • I have to applaud the self-aggrieved Marxists, they use every possible tool at their disposal to create mayhem and suffering.

  • Maybe everyone should start taking into account that NO ONE on the Assembly is a medical provider and as such they can’t dictate medical treatment. OSHA has rules regarding respiratory or personal protective equipment (PPE) when required by a bonafide work related requirement. Wearing a dirty mask, or moisture saturated mask which reduces oxygen intake and concentrates carbon dioxide has the potential to cause permanent long-term lung injury. If employers mandate the covid jab employers will also be responsible for vaccine injury. OSHA will NOT be able to demonstrate that unvaccinated are causing a clear and present danger when the survival rate is almost 100% for healthy adults. Time to end the lies. Time for the tyrants on the Assembly to stop the madness. Save us all the time and effort for a recall. Tyrants have caused the Great Awakening in Anchorage.

    • Ironically enough, OSHA also dictates that airport electricians (among others) take a 3-gas meter with them into enclosed/recessed areas (“pits”), and by law the electricians have to evacuate the pit if the O2 levels fall below a certain level (19.5%). When the meter’s alarm goes off, out they must go. The justifications for this are reasonable, as you can read below.

      Using that same 3-gas meter you find that the diminished O2 level inside one of those blue surgical masks causes the alarm to sound within the time it takes for a single breath… You know, masks mandated by OSHA for companies with over 100 employees.

      Here are the pertinent OSHA standards:

      (Federal Register, Vol. 63, p. 1159.) The rulemaking record for the Respiratory Protection Standard clearly justifies adopting the requirement that air breathed by employees must have an oxygen content of at least 19.5 percent.

      Below 19.5 percent oxygen . . . , air is considered oxygen-deficient. At concentrations of 16 to 19.5 percent, workers engaged in any form of exertion can rapidly become symptomatic as their tissues fail to obtain the oxygen necessary to function properly (Rom, W., Environmental and Occupational Medicine, 2nd ed.; Little, Brown; Boston, 1992). Increased breathing rates, accelerated heartbeat, and impaired thinking or coordination occur more quickly in an oxygen-deficient environment. Even a momentary loss of coordination may be devastating to a worker if it occurs while the worker is performing a potentially dangerous activity, such as climbing a ladder. Concentrations of 12 to 16 percent oxygen cause tachypnea (increased breathing rates), tachycardia (accelerated heartbeat), and impaired attention, thinking, and coordination (e.g., Ex. 25-4), even in people who are resting.

      At oxygen levels of 10 to 14 percent, faulty judgment, intermittent respiration, and exhaustion can be expected even with minimal exertion (Exs. 25-4 and 150).

      Paragraph (d)(2)(iii) of the Respiratory Protection Standard considers any atmosphere with an oxygen level below 19.5 percent to be oxygen-deficient and immediately dangerous to life or health.

      • MMD, where does one find or borrow a calibrated 3-gas meter with a probe that fits inside the blue surgical mask?
        .
        Also, is an exposure time limit imposed? For example if O2 drops below 19.5% for, say, 10 seconds then returns to 19.5%, is immediate evacuation still required?
        .
        Wonder what might happen if the mask alarm was found to be consistently repeatable, especially aboard aircraft, or among school children.

      • If you exhale in to a three gas meter without a mask the low O2 alarm will go off. That is because you are alive and your body turns O2 and food (containing Carbon) into CO2, H2O and energy.

        I tried a very unscientific experiment and monitored my blood O2 readings while wearing a mask for 1/2 an hour and saw no appreciable change in my blood O2 while at rest.

        This is just (un)common sense. I think MMD is making much about nothing.

        If that airport electrician sample the gas in confined space before going in to it, he will find out if it is safe to enter. If he holds the three gas meter to his mouth with or without a mask, the O2 level will be below 19.5%. He will never be able to do any work.

        • I saw a 3% drop in my blood O2 level wearing a mask.

    • Well said!

  • This is a familiar play! It used to be the Alaska State Employees’ Association’s stock in trade to use their brothers and sisters in the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH, not OSHA, the federal agency) to harass the State anytime they had a beef. Funny how DOSH can never find, or even look for, safety issues on union jobs or in Democrat-run governments unless there is a contract or political beef.

    The DOSH inspectors in a sane world would never be union and wouldn’t be even under the federal bargaining law today. They are represented by Laborers’ Local 71, the union that represents the blue and gray collar employees. True confessions; I was once a fairly high-level officer of Local 71, but then I grew up a bit. ’71 under the infamous Al Baffone and his successor Don Velesko was a pretty reasonable if sometime somewhat boisterous union. I’ve never really dealt with their modern leadership but from what I can see the old Baffone/Valesko traditions went away with them.

    I’ve had my scrapes with DOSH inspectors and tried to fire a few of them, only somewhat successfully; labor arbitrators are suckers for working class heroes, even those who only have the courage of their connections and who have never gotten their hands dirty. Too many DOSH employees have houses that are far too nice for their wage range, and I know how that is done. There’s still a couple around whose heads I’d like to see on a pike. My wife was the Admin Services Manager for AKDOL for awhile. There was no justification for the DOSH inspectors having take home State Explorers and Expeditions and she made them park them at night. There was a lot of wailing and knashing of teeth about how now they were going to be forced to buy their own car to get back and forth from work. As soon as she left Labor, the Inspectors got their penile extensions, excuse me, trucks back.

    I doubt the naifs in either the Bronson or Dunleavy Administrations know how to deal with this, but it is pretty simple at the State level; the Commissioner of Labor works for the Governor, the Director of DOSH works for the Commissioner. They can try a little conscientious supervision or the unemployment line beckons. On the Bronson side, he needs to contest their every action and he must understand that he will lose in every administrative forum and likely at the superior court level as well.

    Somebody with a brain in both the Dunleavy and Bronson Administrations needs to get busy on laying out the contours and limits of DOSH authority. Labor is a pretty lazy and entitled department, so the odds are that all their regulatory authority is just copied from federal OSHA regs. There’s just a little problem with that, one that DHSS has also, a federal regulation isn’t a State regulation and unless it has been adopted by Alaska under the Alaska Administrative Procedures Act, it is just words on paper and at most a suggestion.

    We finally broke them of harassing us by contesting everything they did and, frankly, going after their storm troopers, the DOSH inspectors. You’ll get a reputation for not being a nice guy by doing that, but it works.

    • Art, how is the process of adopting regulations under the Alaska Administrative Procedures Act intended to work?

      • I haven’t done anything with regs in 20+ years but as I recall, it is basically just a notice and comment process, much like the federal process. Unlike a lot of states, the Legislature has the power to overturn regs, but they almost never exercise that power.

    • Sir, you are a perpetual voice of inspiration, knowledge and reason. Thanks.

    • AKOSH only enforces regulations adopted by the State of Alaska. Inform yourself.

      • You might still be able to get your money back on that reading comprehension class; I merely posed a line of inquiry as I know State agencies are bad about just cribbing the federal regs. And DOSH enforces the regs that its union/Democrat masters want enforced.

  • Bronson has only been in office for a few months and the OSHA reps asked for three years of logs. If they find anything, it will likely have been something that occurred under Berky’s administration.

  • That’s no biggie. We had an employee complain to OSHA 2-years ago and they came and inspected our facilities. It is basically a fix-it and forget it if they find anything wrong.

  • Try aggrieved commie assembly members – no employee would call for an “unprecedented” surprise inspection, at least without prompting from the commies. This is purely a political move – weaponize and harass, get it in the media to make Mayor Dave and Manager Amy look bad.

    • Time for Bronson Administration or anyone to file an Open Records request to see how this started.

  • Having been through two unannounced inspections, it will be a huge P.I.T.A. and probably initiated by one or more disgruntled employees (union workers, everyone) the MOA can expect several weeks of inspections, records and physical work places. There will be fines and wrong doing found. OSHA must justify its existence. But, how long the inspections last will depend on what’s found. If it’s minor, and paperwork is in order, they’ll be fine. If there is any evidence of malfeasance or a cover-up, it will last longer and probe deeper. And fine more. Good luck MOA. I don’t wish an OSHA inspection on my worst enemy.

  • I’ve heard that in some instances. It’s been found that there are some office chairs out the that still have 4 casters instead of the government mandated 5 caster chairs……… this can’t be allowed to continue!!
    Why else would there be a need for public unions to exist.

  • Yeah, I’m sure it wouldn’t be the Assembly and their stooges who called OSHA, instead of notifying Muni managers or Health and Safety supervisors.

    And this wouldn’t be about building a case for Mayor Bronson’s recall by that same Commie Cabal, right?

    • Nope. The inspection was not politically motivated. But you all may start asking why there is nobody there inspecting today. The answer to that is VERRRRY interesting.

  • Sounds like another Forrest Dunbar stunt to me.

  • Progressive-socialist SOP.
    When you can’t win by cheating, go after them with 3-letter federal agencies.
    They pretty much play for the same team.

  • OSHA and especially AKOSH is a joke, pathetic excuse of a government agency run by morons with Art History degrees masquerading as “experts”. AKOSH should be the first agency cut when we get a fiscally conservative Governor.

    • The tone of this is a little off. I do believe (for reason) the inspection was 100% not politically motivated. There are no AKOSH officers who would agree to be political tools.. Maybe interview an OSHA officer about how they select they’re inspections? OSHA was there to inspect because the city has never been inspected. There is a PAST history of mismanagement in this (AKOSH) department and the new (department) leadership is working hard to correct past practices. Public entities accross the state have been given special treatment for decades simply by NOT inspecting them. AKOSH ISNT THE ENEMY. If this behavior and lack of full perspective reporting continue we are going to get AKOSH taken away and the feds will come enforce instead. Then you will be truly sorry.

      There are no art majors in the enforcement office.

      • Well, in my days with the State, we certainly didn’t lack for attention from DOSH; they were practically a subsidiary of ASEA. Whenever they had a beef with the State, the goons from DOSH were there to “inspect” things.

      • What a load of commie BS, sounds like Mara is AKOSH.

      • Isn’t it a bit presumptuous on your part to assume that all AKOSH officers are immune from political influence? How would you even know that? How could you know that? Even if you had personally interviewed each and every one of them you really couldn’t have 100% confidence in their truthfulness to make that statement. Behind the scenes political influence is hidden by design and those acting under it would have no motivation to let anyone know.
        And the big fear is that the federal government will big foot the state and seize regulatory control???
        Ever take a step back and ask yourself where the federal government got the authority to do that?
        Answer is that they simply took the power and their sister branch of federal government, SCOTUS, just nodded its agreement and went back to sleep.
        The U.S. Constitution states that the states and the people retain all powers not explicitly granted to the federal government.
        Quote the constitutional language where the power to regulate workplace safety was granted, explicitly and in plain English, to the federal government.
        You can’t…it’s not in there.
        That power was simply imputed into the equally illegitimate and made up “Commerce Clause” by people who wanted more control over all of us.
        Figure it out…the federal government and the several states have been at odds over federal control versus states rights since at least the Civil War…the war that was fought over states rights (not over the slavery issue) and the states rights advocates lost and the federal government has been expanding its power ever since.

  • Probably was not a surprise to the Assembly

  • I recommend changing every department head, democrats will burn down the city for politics, see Portland, Minneapolis and Seattle.

  • So… AKOSH is paid in part by Federal funding and they actually earn the state mor money than they spend.

    I think the university system is who your really wanting to look at for wasteful spending.

    • How do they “earn” money? That would imply they produce something useful. AKOSH has always been a cesspool of useless bureaucrats and Federal boot lickers. They don’t earn, they take from those that do produce something of value.

      • I think the point was that AKOSH does not cost the State anything, so ridding us of it has nothing to do with fiscal zone q😐

        AKOSH also stops employers from cutting corners to save costs and put their employees at risk. We have good officers right now who recognize that some rules and regs are BUNK. They also know when some employers are making BUNK excuses. So you can hate them if you want, but they do want to save lives and are indeed: GOOD PEOPLE.

  • Don’t be surprised if this didn’t come from a disgruntled employee, but Dunbar or his ilk.

  • Well now, I guess that the Executive branch will need to delay any information requests from assembly members while they deal with this! LOL

  • Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution explicitly grants certain powers to Congress to include “To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;”
    .
    Article I, Section I states: “All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.”
    .
    Our constitution was written to limit the authority of the federal government over the citizens by explicitly stating what powers we, the people, were granting to it.
    We did not grant the federal government ANY authority over commerce except to regulate trade with foreign nations, between states and with Indian tribes.
    And the constitution does not grant the executive branch (aka the president) ANY legislative or law making powers.
    As the constitution clearly states…ALL legislative powers are vested exclusively in the Congress.
    So all those administrative laws created by bureaucrats employed in the executive branch of the federal government are, by definition, unconstitutional.
    And those broad and sweeping Presidential Executive Orders that impose mandates on private citizens are also unconstitutional.
    OSHA is a fine example of executive branch overreach that was empowered by Congress overstepping its constitutional authority to regulate commerce, or trade, between the states.
    Unfortunately our U.S. Supreme Court put its stamp of approval on the illegitimate expansion of federal power during the reign of the communist loving Franklin D. Roosevelt.
    Now our federal government has seized regulatory control over all aspects of our economy right down to the kind of bathroom facilities your local Mom & Pop corner store has to provide.
    Like it or not, agree with it or not the Constitution does not grant Congress, as the sole law making entity at the federal level, any power to regulate commerce or any other activity related to commerce WITHIN a state. Congressional authority is explicitly limited to regulating commerce BETWEEN states.
    Maybe we should be aware of safety related best practices and such but the federal government, through executive branch agencies like OSHA, has no constitutional authority to mandate that we do so.
    And the role of the President in this area is to implement the constitutional laws passed by Congress and the role of the U.S. Supreme Court is to rule on the constitutionality of those laws…not to impose their own “interpretation” of the will of Congress.
    Americans of today grew up under the iron heel of the all powerful federal government but it was never intended to be like this.
    Unfortunately we lost our freedoms before any of us were even born and now we’re just accustomed to doing what we’re told by people who have no legitimate authority beyond the power of the corrupted legal system backed by police and military force.

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