Higher OSHA standards may prove to be beneficial
Re: "More bad news for U.S. workers, businesses from OSHA," Feb. 23
We share Rep. Tim Walberg's concerns about a possible future OSHA standard requiring all employers to implement an injury and illness prevention program (I2P2).
If an I2P2 standard is no more than a new way to cite employers, it will not benefit workers or businesses. However, opposing a new standard before knowing what it will be fails to grasp its promise to change the paradigm of how this nation approaches workplace safety and health.
As Rep. Walberg said, many companies have improved their workplace cultures through the same kind of risk-based approach to safety integral to successful I2P2s. Our 34,000 professional members help companies achieve meaningful gains in safety and health through I2P2s that identify risks in the workplace, and then establish ways to address those risks.
A well-written I2P2 standard allows companies to be innovative and practical, moving them far above the minimal gains achievable simply by complying with OSHA's current prescriptive standards -- which too often lead to a nitpicking approach that misses the most significant workplace risks.
This risk-based approach helped the United Kingdom achieve a workplace fatality rate that is less than 20 percent of the fatalities our nation has unfortunately come to accept as the status quo.
Rep. Walberg may well be correct, and the wrong I2P2 standard will not benefit workers or businesses. But a truly risk-based standard can benefit all companies.
Terrie S. Norris
American Society of Safety Engineers
Des Plaines, Ill.
Fighter pilots don't need that much math
Re: "Why math matters, a lot," Feb. 23
Walter E. Williams has an inflated idea of the math needs of fighter pilots.
I was an Air Force navigator for eight years, flying in the back seat of F-4 Phantom jets. I had a degree in physics, but most of the other pilots were liberal arts majors.
Pilots don't need a background in physics or aerodynamics. They mainly need to memorize checklists for takeoff, landing and emergencies. However, they do need to be able to count to 360 and read a compass.
We usually flew at a multiple of 60 miles per hour; 420/60 = 7, so we flew 7 miles per minute. That made it easy to estimate your time of arrival.
Otherwise, fighter pilots mainly use math to bet on dice games and pay bar tabs.
However, I do agree with Williams that education Ph.D.s are a scam to get an automatic pay raise under union contracts. Johnny can't count, but his political education meets union standards.
O'Malley's proposal is tax upon a tax
Am I to understand that Gov. Martin O'Malley new proposed gas tax will be 6 percent on the "stated" pump price?
Do our brilliant lawmakers realize that the price at the pump already represents 18.4 cents of federal tax and 23.5 cents of Maryland state tax?
If Gov. O'Malley charges 6 percent of the stated pump price, he will be charging 6 percent on the 41.9 cent tax already imputed per gallon.
Aren't taxes on taxes Illegal?