“They were rushing because they had to get the equipment to another jobsite,” said the widow. “The boss tapped him to do the work because they were short-handed. He wasn’t trained to do it” said the grieving mother. “Yeah, I used equipment that I knew was unsafe. You’re shunned if you complain,” noted the disabled worker.
These comments are just some of what I heard last week from family members who lost a loved one from a fatal on-the-job injury. Their remarks were eerily similar to what we’ve learned from survivors of a few of this year’s most notorious workplace disasters. Offshoreworkers from the Deepwater Horizon rig said “drilling priorities taking precedence over planned maintenance.” Coal miners at the Upper Big Branch mine said they were “marked men” if they raised safety concerns. Kim Nibarger of the United Steelworkers puts it this way: continue reading

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