Saturday, January 06, 2018

Corporations cut corners and cost workers their lives- two men died

By SJ Otto
This latest story in The Wichita Eagle is an example of capitalism gone wrong. Two men died, smothered by grain as they were buried alive. It turns out that the company that ran the grain elevator has faced 24 cases of safety and health violations by federal regulators over the past seven years. The elevator is operated and owned by Gavilon. They own not only the elevator in which the two men were killed, near Wichita, but they own other grain elevators including one in Ohio where a man was crushed by a grain auger. There is little doubt that corners have been routinely cut by owners who follow the mantra that we have "too many regulations," a theme we hear often from the Donald Trump administration. I'm sure the owners scoffed at the idea that we need so many regulation and that the possibility of an accident from ignoring these rules is just too remote. But in this case we see that the accident was not remote. The chances are good that they just ignored the rules and figured nothing would happen.
Such lack of respect for regulations just cost two men their lives. This accident was probably preventable. If the owners had followed the safety regulations and did what they were supposed to do, these men would not have suffocated. When conservatives publically complain that there is too much regulations of their industries, we need to remember these tragedies and remind the public that not following the rules cost people their lives. Most of the time such rules are ignored to save time and money. When preventable deaths occur, that savings is not worth it.  
Conservatives tell us there are too many regulations. These deaths tell us otherwise.

For The Wichita Eagle story, "Owner of Wichita grain elevator where two men died has history of safety violations," click here.
 Image result for ​grain auger
Pix by Shapeways.

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