Thursday, July 24, 2003

Three Finger Defense: McWane/Atlantic Pipe Talks to the Press

G. Ruffner Page Jr., the President of Atlantic States Cast Iron Pipe Co. and the corporate parent he heads, McWane Inc, stated to the New Jersey Express-Times that "are a 'changed company now' in terms of workplace safety and environmental issues. "

McWane was made (in)famous by the New York Times/Frontline series detailing the high numbers of injuries and deaths at McWane Facilities.

Page was quote talkative about the safety improvements McWane has made, and even talked for the first time about
for the first time identified Hector Velarde Lazo of Allentown as the employee who lost three fingers on his right hand during a Dec. 7 industrial accident at Atlantic States. They did not give Lazo's age.

The company did not have to report the accident to government regulators. Officials with the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration learned about the accident after receiving an "informal complaint" from an unidentified source.

OSHA fined Atlantic States $130,000 for 12 workplace infractions during a general inspection and after investigating Lazo's accident.
He was apparently less talkative about Senator John Corzine's (D-NJ) bill that would toughen federal criminal penalties for workplace negligence.
"Sen. Corzine has his reasons for putting forth that legislation, but I couldn't comment on what is the legitimacy of it or not, Page said.
Probably a good idea.