Banned OSHA Films

Monday, September 01, 2008 | 04:30 AM

Here's a nice Labor Day themed story.

In 1980, the last year of Jimmy Carter's administration, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) commissioned a series of three 30-minute films about worker safety.  These were real pro productions, with Studs Terkel as narrator on two of the productions.  In 1981, Reagan appointed 36-year old Florida construction executive Thorne G. Auchter, who proceeded to systematically dismantle the agency.  Evidently, the 3 films disturbed Thorne greatly, because OSHA issued a recall, threatening to withold OSHA funds from any organization that did not return their copies of the films, which were promptly destroyed.

But, a few union officials defied the ban and "stole" copies so they weren't able to be returned.  Over the years, they would occasionally show them to their troops, using the fact they banned as a way to get them to watch the films, which have important messages about worker rights and workplace safety.  But, aside from these bootleg showings, the video disappeared.

PublicResource.Org got a note recently from Mark Catlan, a health and safety expert for one of the unions for the last 28 years (he actually started working for the union the year the film came out, and remembers his education director stealing a copy out of his office so it wouldn't get returned).  A year ago, Mark decided the world needed to see these films, so he found 16-mm cannisters and made them available to us to transfer to DVCAM and then disk.

Making their public debut after 30 years are "Worker to Worker," "Can't Take No More," and "The Story of OSHA."

Link to YouTube

The Story of OSHA

Can't Take No More

Worker to Worker

 

 

Link to the Internet Archive:
http://www.archive.org/search.php?query=subject%3A%22public.resource.org%22%20AND%20subject%3A%22osha.gov%22%20AND%20mediatype%3Amovies

( http://tiny.cc/hdLvC )

Via Dave Farber's Interesting People list

Monday, September 01, 2008 | 04:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (30) | TrackBack (0)
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Comments

Thanks for the link BR.

I caught a subliminal perception blip in there. Shame shame.

Posted by: Greg0658 | Sep 1, 2008 9:00:42 AM

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