January 24, 2007 The Pump Handle 0Comment

Cross-posted at Effect Measure by Revere

Tonight The Reveres are putting on their party clothes and headed for Jordan Barab’s place, Confined Space. Truthfully, this party is also a wake, because Jordan is closing up shop tonight and has invited everyone over (that means you, too) to celebrate his last post. We’ll be gathering in the Comment Thread. That’s the bad news. Here’s the good news.

Jordan is closing the blog because he has a new job on Capitol Hill (for the non-Americans, that’s where our legislative branch is located), working for the Committee on Education and Labor in the US House of Representatives. Instead of writing about Congressional screw-ups on workplace safety and health he’ll be trying to stop more of them and reverse the ones we’ve accumulated under the Republicans.

For those of you not familiar with Confined Space, it is (soon to be, was) one of the premier sites for keeping abreast of occupational health and safety developments in the US, although it had a world wide readership. It fully realized the potential of the blogosphere and was a pioneer in the use of this form of communication. One of his innovations was the “Weekly Toll,” a bare recital of workplace deaths in the previous two weeks. The cumulative effect of 70 or 80 descriptions from news articles of death on the job presented seriatum was devastating. He told me once he frequently heard from relatives grateful someone remembered their spouse or child or best friend. Remember he did. In his way, Jordan is one of the great modern heroes of workplace health and safety.

Jordan will probably tell us tonight how long he has been doing this, but I know it’s over three years, and in blog time that makes Confined Space older than Methusalah. Working for the federal government’s Chemical Safety Board meant he couldn’t blog during the day, so all of it was done in the evening. Hats off to Jordan’s family. Having a blogger in the house is not always a pure joy (at least according to Mrs. R.).

When I started blogging a couple of years ago Jordan and I met for coffee. At that time there was only one other public health oriented blog (and it was in hiatus), so Jordan was it. He couldn’t have been more helpful or more encouraging, something I will always hold against him. Why didn’t he tell me what I was getting into?

See you tonight, my friend. I’d raise a toast to you, but I’m underage.

The Reveres, January 24, 2007

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