Why Not Apply For An OSHA Variance – Reader Mail

An informed reader writes:

Why doesn’t the industry just apply for a variance from OSHA standards? If the industry truly believes that what they do is sufficient to protect workers, then a variance would give them a chance to prove it, legally. There are several types of variances, most of which call for standards equal or greater to existing regulations. But there is also an ‘experimental’ variance, in which unconventional methods can be demonstrated to be as equally effective as existing standards.

Individual companies can apply for a variance, or a ‘class of employers,’ which adult producers would certainly qualify as, can apply. What a great way for the industry to come together, work with the regulators, and reach an equitable solution.

But I do see one major problem with this. The testing, and treatment for employees would have to be paid by the producers, (employers). Current OSHA regulations already call for the post exposure testing and treatment, a regulation that producers violate every day with impunity. The experimental variance gives the industry the opportunity a chance to prove their system works, and then the variance can become permanent. And there in lies another problem, proving that the current system actually works will be a hard sell.

This proposal gives the industry a perfect opportunity to ‘put up or shut up.’ Does your system work, here’s your chance to prove it, and put an end to this once and for all. Or will requiring producers to pay for testing and treatment be a deal breaker?  Will the shortsighted desire to save money today outweigh the long term benefit for the new, evolving porn industry. Only time will tell.

The language of the variance programs is quite simple and easy to understand. Who will have the guts to step up?

73260cookie-checkWhy Not Apply For An OSHA Variance – Reader Mail

Why Not Apply For An OSHA Variance – Reader Mail

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8 Responses

  1. “proving that the current system actually works will be a hard sell.”

    Actually, it’s not that hard to prove it works. You take the infection rate of the performers, you take the infection rate of a similar age, similar activity level non-performer group (public) and compare. If the infection rates of performers doesn’t vary much compared to the “real world” then by definition, your workplace is no more dangerous than living in the real world.

    The problem? OSHA doesn’t want “matches the real world”, they want zero infections from work. That’s just not possible, no matter how many condoms you put on someone.

  2. If you’re talking workplace safety, does OSHA compare your workplace rates to the world at large? Or do they compare your workplace to other workplaces? In other words, if we were talking helmets on a construction site. Would they compare your head injury rate to the rate of head injuries in the general population? Or would they compare your head injury rate to the rate of head injuries at other construction sites? I don’t know how you do porn, unless you compare the STD rate among porn performers to the STD rate among other sex workers in environments where condoms are required, such as legal brothels in Nevada. If the STD rate among performers who only work with other performers who are tested is higher than the STD rate among legal prostitutes who have sex using condoms with random customers who are not tested, that might be a valid comparison as to whether testing works.

  3. Sorry, but is there any evidence which shows that Cal-Osha would actually APPROVE a variance applications from a porn company? I’ve never seen it done before so I’m not sure it’s practical. Plus, if everyone applies for it, it’s not a “variance” anymore…

  4. Bee Venom Can Kill the HIV Virus

    By Brian Krans
    Fri, Mar 08, 2013

    Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis (WU) say they’ve found a way to effectively destroy the HIV virus using a toxin found in bee venom.

    The study, published Thursday in the journal Antiviral Therapy, states that the technique not only destroys the virus that causes AIDS, but also leaves surrounding cells intact.

    Researchers say they hope the nanoparticle technology could be incorporated into a vaginal gel to prevent the spread of HIV in areas with high rates of infection.

    How Nanoparticles & Bee Venom Destroy HIV

    Microscopic nanoparticles have unique and exciting properties. In biomedicine, they are used to transport important proteins throughout the body. Bee venom’s principle toxin is melittin, a small protein. Researchers used nanoparticles to distribute melittin in laboratory studies.

    Similar to the way a bee injects its venom into your skin using its stinger, the toxin melittin is able to poke holes in the protective coating of HIV and other viruses.

    Early Signs of HIV

    “We are attacking an inherent physical property of HIV,” Dr. Joshua L. Hood, a research instructor in medicine at WU, said in a press release. “Theoretically, there isn’t any way for the virus to adapt to that. The virus has to have a protective coat, a double-layered membrane that covers the virus.”

    When researchers loaded the toxin into nanoparticles, they found that it didn’t harm normal cells because of a protective bumper added to the nanoparticle’s surface. Because HIV cells are smaller than regular cells, they slide between the bumpers while leaving healthy, normal cells intact.

    Most current HIV treatments focus on inhibiting HIV’s ability to replicate, but do nothing to stop the initial infection. However, researchers say that because the venom-laced nanoparticles attack a crucial part of HIV’s structure, they can kill before the virus has a chance to infect a person.

    The Changing Face of HIV

    How Bee Venom Nanoparticles Can Help Stop the Spread of HIV

    Researchers say these bee venom nanoparticles could be used in a vaginal gel to help prevent the spread of HIV in developing countries, such as parts of African with a high HIV rate. They could also be used by people who want HIV protection, but not contraception.

    “We also are looking at this for couples where only one of the partners has HIV, and they want to have a baby,” Hood said. “These particles by themselves are actually very safe for sperm, for the same reason they are safe for vaginal cells.”

    Beyond preventive measures, Hood sees the potential for treating existing HIV infections. He theorizes that the nanoparticles could be injected into a person’s blood in order to clear HIV cells from the bloodstream.

    The technology could also be used to combat other infectious diseases, such as hepatitis B and C, because the viruses share a similar protective membrane to the HIV virus.

    Dr. George Krucik, Healthline’s director of clinical content, said that while nanoparticle research is not new, much more research will be required before these results can be put to use in people.

    “This delivery technology holds out the promise of destroying circulating viruses that have not entered a cell, so in theory they could prevent a virus from infecting a cell,” he said. “These laboratory experiments are known as proof of concept studies, which demonstrate the feasibility of the technology. The use of this technology in humans has yet to be explored and will require years of study and clinical trials to see if they are effective in real live people.”

    Bee venom is also being studied for use in pain relief medications and anti-aging creams.

  5. I think it does indeed sound like an interesting idea. At the very least it should be tried. I don’t know how class certification works in such procedures, but as long as that isn’t too complex it could even be economically feasible, and everyone should join such an action.

    I think the potential problem of acknowledging performers as employees (and not independent contractors) is something we’ll all have to just accept. I have read the case law pretty thoroughly, and it seems very clear to me that producers exercise WAY too much control over performers for any court to conclude that they are independent contractors–at least in an OSHA context. Producers tell performers when and where to work, what to bring, how to perform, what they will do, etc. Independent contractors are typically people who work on their OWN terms, who decide for themselves when, where, and how they will work, with what instruments, etc. Porn performers don’t fit that description very well.

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