We’ve always known OSHA as the official authority of safety and health in the U.S. But very few are aware of the fact that it produced and distributed three films in 1980. While these films are nothing like the Hollywood blockbusters you queue for in movie houses, they were real pro productions. In fact, two of them had Studs Terkel, the well-known radio broadcaster and historian, as narrator.
So why were the films banned and who initiated the move? More importantly, what do the films contain? Most safety and health professionals, even those belonging to the OSHA staff, didn’t know that OSHA produced and distributed the three films during the Carter Administration. It was actually during the last days of Dr. Eula Bingham as head of OSHA.
The series of 30-minute films are mostly about the safety of workers. Their titles are “Worker to Worker,” “Can’t Take No More,” and “The Story of OSHA”.
Then the year 1981 came, along with the great ban. The order came from no other than Reagan-appointed OSHA head, Thorne Auchter. It was said that Auchter thought the films were too biased towards workers.
“Worker To Worker”
So it happened that the films were recalled and later destroyed. They became unavailable to the public and even to OSHA staff themselves. Not a single government library had records of these OSHA-produced films.
“Cant Take No More”
Fortunately for history buffs and safety and health professionals, some union officials kept copies of the films. This was remarkable considering that Auchter threatened to cut OSHA funding for their safety and health programs.
“The Story of OSHA”