OSHA–the (not quite) lost films

Source: OSHA, 1980

If ever there was evidence of a sea change in labor relations, it is these lost OSHA films from late in the Carter administration. The life of these films was short: made in 1980 and destroyed in 1981. They’re great 30 minutes movies commissioned by OSHA, have Studs Terkel on narration, Johnny Paycheck on the soundtrack, and discuss both the history and significance of occupational disease and regulation. They actually show workers taking the issues into their own hands and using government regulations and agencies to prevent occupational disease and injury. The films are:
“Worker to Worker,” “Can’t Take No More,” and “The Story of OSHA.”

When Reagan appointed Thorne G. Auchter to head OSHA in 1981, he apparently had the films recalled and destroyed. A few renegade union folks withheld their copies, which circulated in bootleg fashion. They are now available on the internet and are a fabulous resource for both teaching and research.

– Link to the films on the Internet Archive

– Link to the films on YouTube

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