This just in: It’s hot in the summer — or so a new Smartphone app from the DOL says

posted at 7:39 pm on August 18, 2011 by Tina Korbe

If someone from Public Notice asked me whether this was an example of real or fake government spending, I would have unhesitatingly cried, “Fake!” But I would have been wrong. The Department of Labor really did spend taxpayer dollars — though just how many is not quite clear — to develop a Smartphone application to inform outdoor workers whether it’s hot outside.

The DOL’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s new “Heat Safety Tool,” designed for outdoor workers who are already outside, tells workers the temperature and humidity level of where they’re at. From that data, the app calculates the “heat index” and “risk level” for workers in the given location.

Rick Manning of Americans for Limited Government, the group that first criticized OSHA’s new “Heat Safety Tool” as a waste of taxpayer money, says the app doesn’t provide workers with any useful information that isn’t already common knowledge. Manning said Labor Secretary Hilda Solis is using taxpayer money to state the obvious to outdoor workers: it’s hot in the summer.

“Next thing we know, Solis’s Labor Department will come out with an app that tells swimmers that water is wet,” Manning said. “This is absurd. What a waste.”

So an app exists for everything, after all! Just goes to show that, sometimes, old-fashioned methods are better anyway. The Obama campaign and his subsequent administration have shown a willingness to embrace technology — but the president and his advisors prove time and time again they’re out of touch with some basic truths, from the inescapable fact that the country can’t spend its way out of debt to the political reality that, optically, it’s better to buy an American-made bus to travel the country to promote American jobs to, now, the strikingly obvious actuality that most people are, in fact, able to tell whether it’s hot outside — when they are outside.

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Yeah! The Department of Labor is really putting the effort into the whole jobs problem.

No wonder we need a Department of Jobs.

carbon_footprint on August 18, 2011 at 7:42 PM

What’s next for the government spending? Studying prawns on treadmills?

carbon_footprint on August 18, 2011 at 7:42 PM

How about the mating habits of the praying mantis?

carbon_footprint on August 18, 2011 at 7:43 PM

Do they have an app for measuring dumbass?

BacaDog on August 18, 2011 at 7:43 PM

tells workers the temperature and humidity level of where they’re at.

Nice command of the English language there, OSHA.

/

mankai on August 18, 2011 at 7:43 PM

carbon_footprint on August 18, 2011 at 7:42 PM

Don’t give them any ideas.

chemman on August 18, 2011 at 7:44 PM

***The sun is overhead…. right…. now***

tetriskid on August 18, 2011 at 7:44 PM

Obama orders end of illegal aliens’ deportations.

His amnesty so they can vote for him. PUNISH him into hell.

Schadenfreude on August 18, 2011 at 7:44 PM

Hell, it is easy in Texas. Going to be 100 degrees from April until September and high humidity (except for the Llano Estacado – low humidity.)

carbon_footprint on August 18, 2011 at 7:45 PM

While certainly a complete waste of money coerced/stolen from taxpayers this is the ultimate example of an “ego” app. It’s for the DOL’s upper level people to be able to brag among their peers at Georgetown cocktail parties that “We have our own app.” Disgusting.

TXUS on August 18, 2011 at 7:46 PM

I’d love for the government to send itemized bills to those people who want their taxes raised.

Dear Mr. Buffet,

Please remit $4,000,000 to fund a study of the sex habits of parapalegic shrimp off the east coast of the US.

mankai on August 18, 2011 at 7:46 PM

What’s the big deal? An app that tells you the current temperature and humidity is useful, and this also has a simple indicator for the risk level. Not the most useful thing in the world, but it’s not that expensive to make an app like this. It’s not like they spent millions, they just made an app.

tneloms on August 18, 2011 at 7:46 PM

carbon_footprint on August 18, 2011 at 7:42 PM

Don’t give them any ideas.

chemman on August 18, 2011 at 7:44 PM

Why, they done done it!

carbon_footprint on August 18, 2011 at 7:47 PM

It’s not like they spent millions, they just made an app.

tneloms on August 18, 2011 at 7:46 PM

Lol, it’s the government! When do they do anything that is not in the millions category?

carbon_footprint on August 18, 2011 at 7:48 PM

Can’t you just visualize a construction worker saying to his supervisor, “One second, boss, before I cut these boards, I need to check out the temp on my iPhone and see whether I need to hydrate first, you know what I mean?”

TXUS on August 18, 2011 at 7:50 PM

All this efficient use of technology to tell workers that it’s hot outside will only put professional weathermen out of work.

PackerBronco on August 18, 2011 at 7:50 PM

I think most day laborers don’t have smartphones…so once again a brilliant use of taxpayers funds

Political Chef on August 18, 2011 at 7:55 PM

thank you Captain Obvious~

ted c on August 18, 2011 at 7:55 PM

It’s not like they spent millions, they just made an app.

tneloms on August 18, 2011 at 7:46 PM

1. It’s not the business of the “limited” federal government to tell people when its warm outside.

2. It probably cost billions to develop, if normal standards of federal efficiency were adhered to.

Cicero43 on August 18, 2011 at 7:55 PM

I think most day laborers don’t have smartphones…so once again a brilliant use of taxpayers funds

Political Chef on August 18, 2011 at 7:55 PM

Now you did it.

Cicero43 on August 18, 2011 at 7:56 PM

Do they have an app for measuring dumbass?

We have elections for that.

southsideironworks on August 18, 2011 at 7:58 PM

I think most day laborers don’t have smartphones…so once again a brilliant use of taxpayers funds

Political Chef on August 18, 2011 at 7:55 PM

Well, that means that WE TAXPAYERS are obligated to provide smartphones for dumba$$es. And of course, pay the monthly expenses as well. Sort of how we’re paying for the 800 pound Fat Broad who wants to be the Fattest Female Idiot on planet earth.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2026964/Susanne-Emans-bid-worlds-fattest-woman-52st-mother-2-supersizing.html

If you follow the link, you’ll notice she’s too fat to work, so her food, housing, medical, etc. is being paid for by you and I. The Stupid Taxpayers.

oldleprechaun on August 18, 2011 at 8:05 PM

where they’re at

Matthew Boyle at Daily Caller must have been “ejuwcated” by Arne “I feel very, very badly for the children” Duncan.

fred5678 on August 18, 2011 at 8:09 PM

Lol, it’s the government! When do they do anything that is not in the millions category?

carbon_footprint on August 18, 2011 at 7:48 PM

2. It probably cost billions to develop, if normal standards of federal efficiency were adhered to.

Cicero43 on August 18, 2011 at 7:55 PM

Sarcastic comments aside, making an app still doesn’t cost millions. There are plenty of government programs that waste actual large amounts of money that are more worthwhile of our attention.

tneloms on August 18, 2011 at 8:10 PM

In phase II they’ll spend a couple more million for the Spanish version.

BacaDog on August 18, 2011 at 8:12 PM

Anyone have a smartphone app to count down the days until we are rid of little Bammie?

slickwillie2001 on August 18, 2011 at 8:12 PM

With all the recent talk about ATMs putting bank tellers out of work, this seems to be counter to that thinking in that it will put global warming folks out of wor……

Oops, sorry, go right ahead BarryO.

Robert17 on August 18, 2011 at 8:14 PM

There are plenty of government programs that waste actual large amounts of money that are more worthwhile of our attention.

tneloms on August 18, 2011 at 8:10 PM

It’s that philosophy that leads to bloated government.

Look up the “broken window theory” and study what Guilliani did to reduce crime in New York City and then apply that thinking to the Federal budget.

PackerBronco on August 18, 2011 at 8:16 PM

Well, NORMAL people can tell when it’s hot outside. Obamabots NEED to be told. Now there’s an app for that.

GarandFan on August 18, 2011 at 8:18 PM

the problem with bureaucrats in a nutshell. They feel they have to do something, but there is no credible measure of whether their efforts have value. In the real world, if your efforts are not profitable you don’t get paid. Be assured that what ever civil servant came up with this idea will get his next step increase.

pgrossjr on August 18, 2011 at 8:30 PM

The ‘heat safety tool’ is called: a bandana.

Anything else is just… ahhhh… hot air.

ajacksonian on August 18, 2011 at 8:42 PM

What’s the big deal? An app that tells you the current temperature and humidity is useful, and this also has a simple indicator for the risk level. Not the most useful thing in the world, but it’s not that expensive to make an app like this. It’s not like they spent millions, they just made an app.

tneloms on August 18, 2011 at 7:46 PM

There is already an app for that. It’s called The Weather Channel app, and it’s free for all platforms.

And this is the government. Of course they spent millions.

stvnscott on August 18, 2011 at 8:47 PM

How about the mating habits of the praying mantis?

carbon_footprint on August 18, 2011 at 7:43 PM

Giggle.

katy the mean old lady on August 18, 2011 at 8:50 PM

Here’s my conspiracy theory. On a crazy scale of 1 to 10, I’d give it about a four or five. What do you think?

Step 1: Create an arbitrary system called the “heat index.”
Step 2: Tie the “heat index” to a “risk level.”
Step 3: Base federal labor laws on “risk level.”

Outcome: A new worker’s right enforced by government regulations that dictate when workers can and can not work outside.

The DOL has released heat warnings for the following counties. All outside work is illegal until further notice.

Rude on August 18, 2011 at 8:51 PM

One for the old regulars:

Now we know what ap Fiona has been checking in the unemployment line.

apostic on August 18, 2011 at 8:51 PM

The deuce you say. Next you’ll be telling me it’s cold in winter, and we’ll need an app for that. Then it’s pleasant in fall and spring with apps for that too.

rbj on August 18, 2011 at 9:11 PM

The app doesn’t even do what it claims.

It doesn’t give the temperature and humidity for where you are, it gives you the temperature and humidity at a weather station somewhere nearby. It also appears to operate with a significant delay.

Right now, on my phone, it’s about about 12 degrees off. Or 10 if you’re calculating the bogus “heat index”.

We need to find out how much this thing cost. I would bet that it would be cheaper to give every “outdoor worker and supervisor” their own stick-on thermometer so they could actually get the real temperature of where they were and not the weather station 15 miles down the road.

Looks like this will be a highly valuable tool for government and union workers who want an excuse to not work because OSHA says it’s too hot outside. WAAAAAAAAAH!!!!!!

Jason Coleman on August 18, 2011 at 9:47 PM

It’s not like they spent millions, they just made an app.

tneloms on August 18, 2011 at 7:46 PM

Lat time I checked, the average cost of a government HTML webpage was north of 70K…Government flash sites start off north of 500K. Government DB’s are 250K or more a piece. Then there’s security to isolate the app from the network that controls/monitors the weather stations. Not to mention the new government positions for Apple App Developer, Android App Developer and Blackberry App developer. Those are jobs-created Boi!

ABSOLUTELY they spent a million plus on this. Throw in the crashing of their website that the news of this generated and they’ll have the justification to spend a few million on upgrading their servers to take care of this oh so valuable and useless “app”.

Jason Coleman on August 18, 2011 at 9:52 PM

Man, I don’t know what I would have done without Government. I just couldn’t find ANY weather apps for my old iPhone or for my current Droid.

William Teach on August 18, 2011 at 10:35 PM

Jason Coleman on August 18, 2011 at 9:52 PM

One more thing, the app will be full of bugs.

slickwillie2001 on August 18, 2011 at 11:09 PM

the political reality that, optically, it’s better to buy an American-made bus to travel the country to promote American jobs

Yes that would have been good.

But a more important principle was at stake – rock stars prefer the bus Obama bought.

Squiggy on August 19, 2011 at 6:33 AM

Now we can declare it a human right to have a smart phone courtesy of Uncle Sam! Everyone must have access to this vital safety and health information!

MJBrutus on August 19, 2011 at 7:37 AM

In phase II they’ll spend a couple more million for the Spanish version.

BacaDog on August 18, 2011 at 8:12 PM

I saw a prototype. It has a hispanic-looking guy hopping a fence in the heat :-)

MJBrutus on August 19, 2011 at 7:46 AM

Do they have an app for measuring dumbass?

We have elections for that.

southsideironworks on August 18, 2011 at 7:58 PM

At last measurement, the country came in at 52% dumbasses. We’re hoping to reduce this significantly in 2012.

darury on August 19, 2011 at 8:49 AM

To be fare, there is value in knowing the heat index. If you’re working or practicing outside, you may not realize it’s as hot as it is, especially when you’re already doing strenuous exercise (you may attribute your warmth to the exercise, not the weather).

The real criticism here is that there are already tons of free apps that will tell you the heat index. Accuweather, wunderground, even the GW Nazis at Der Vether Chunnel have free apps.

DailyDanet on August 19, 2011 at 3:02 PM