Monday, November 21, 2005

View From The Shop Floor

I cross-post some articles on Labor Blog. This is a comment from the article I wrote last week about OSHA Deform legislation being introduced by Utah Republican Senator Mike Enzi. People who think that the best way for OSHA to protect workers' health and safety is form Alliances should read this:
This is pretty disturbing news. The last time I worked at a manufacturing plant I was designing punches and safety equipment for the punching machines themselves.

The reason the company wanted safety equipment installed, and the only reason, was that OSHA inspectors had told them they needed to do it or else.

One day one of the punch machine operators lost several fingers while using the machine due to an on and off switch that was so worn out that it was defective. When I saw the switch you could put it in any position and it might be on, and it might be off, there was absolutely no way of knowing by looking at it.

I told my supervisor that it looked like negligence and I was out the door within a week. The operator was a poor Mexican and from what I heard from my friends that still worked there was that the company hushed the whole thing up by paying off the worker with a ridiculously low sum.

Frankly I did not give a damn about losing my job once I realized what kind of scum I was working for. But I sure feel sorry for the guy that lost his fingers, those won’t grow back again.

Rob Payne