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A Review Of "A Dangerous Business". Lowell Bergmann & David Barstow. New York Times. Pbs Frontline. 2003

919 words - 4 pages

David H. Dallas (author)English 111: Writing IIClarion Universtiy of PASeptember 29, 2003A Review of "A Dangerous Business"The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the PBS television show Frontline, and the New York Times collaborated on a project which resulted in a series of New York Times articles entitled "Dangerous Business" and a documentary series of the same name that aired in January 2003. The nine-month investigation in particular dealt with McWane, Inc. of Birmingham, Alabama, the parent non-public company that owns Tyler Pipe in Tyler, Texas and a host of other iron foundries located across the U.S. and in Canada.The New York Times series opens with a grim statement that paints a ...view middle of the document...

Unfortunately, say federal and state agencies, McWane has gone too far in their capitalistic dream! McWane has been labeled "lawless" and "rogue" by these investigators. The iron foundry sees things differently and calls it "the McWane way" (qtd. in Barstow and Bergmann 3).Plant safety was nonexistent. "You put people at risk" lamented a one-time high-ranking plant supervisor, "We did every day" (qtd. in Barstow and Bergmann 3). Laborers did not have access to required protective gear such as face guards, steel toed shoes and other clothing necessary to shield them from danger. In order to prevent their upper extremities from heat injuries, plant employees resorted to covering their hands with common duct tape. Heaters needed for machinery operators in cold weather were eliminated.The authors point out that injured workers were discouraged from reporting their injuries. During a one-year period from 2000 to 2001, disciplinary actions were instituted against over 350 laborers who reported job related trauma. Investigators from the Occupational Health and Safety Agency (OSHA) state that McWane used these tactics as a form of retribution (Barstow and Bergmann 9-10).Proper medical care was withheld. Marcos Lopez fell in March 2002, striking his back on a metal surface. He complained of dizzying pain and nausea, trouble breathing and a "burning in the bone" (qtd. in Barstow and Bergmann 12). He was denied examination at a hospital and sent home. On his third visit to the company clinic, Occu-Safe, radiological tests revealed a spinal fracture but he was not informed of this and again...

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