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A Dangerous Business Revisited
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Dear FRONTLINE,

It is high time worker safety be brought to the fore, not only in the U.S. but around the world. How many injuries, how many deaths, how many lives of workers and their families need to be laid to waste before something is done? I am a 17 year EHS professional and I have been in the trenches and seen it all; OSHA is a misguided and misapplied entity, feckless in nature and ineffective. It needs completely revamped so that it is right-sized for the challenges it faces in upholding the laws and regulations and it needs the resources to go after habitual violators with only profit on their minds.

Companies and managers that willfully violate OSHA where someone is permanently injured or killed should face felony criminal charges at the federal level. Thank you Frontline for doing this documentary. Please do more on workplace safety and industrial pollution. The silence in these areas is deafening!!!

Patrick Barrett
Akron, Ohio

Dear FRONTLINE,

Let's face it. The American worker is just a number and nothing else. A federal agency that is in charge of safety and health was set up to fail. How can you effectively enforce these rules without stiff penalties associated with them. $7,000 for a person who looses an arm, but if you illegally dump that arm, you may face a $1.0 million dollar fine and jail time

arlington heights, IL

Dear FRONTLINE,

Has there been any investigation of the oil industry? I work in a refinery that has a very similar PRODUCTION over safety attitude. Poor safety decisions made in the hope of keeping equipment running - making gasoline. I was intimately invovled with a job that resulted in a fatality, and was not interviewed by any company management UNTIL one of the disciplined/fired workers was fighting his firing - then I was questioned by COMPANY attorneys to see if I would support their case/view against this other worker. Recently there was a "condemned" crude unit running 10yrs or more beyond its " safe life cycle" > ONLY as a result of the investigation of BP (Texas City Refinery) and accountablility went beyond the plant manager level - only after that was the decision made to shut down this unit and make the necessary repairs. WHY? In the name of PROFIT > My safety was compromised. Oil at $90 / barrel and gasoline prices at an all time high. The documentation was already in place that indicated shutdown of this unit - but my safety and that of those that I work with was compromised.

Ponca City, Oklahoma

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posted february 5, 2008

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