Thought Leadership


Jailed on the job

October 3, 2012
KEYWORDS emergency / karachi / locked
/ Print / Reprints /
ShareMore
/ Text Size+

Pakistani factory fireIn September, at least 261 people burnt to death as fires swept through two factories in Pakistan, police and government officials said, raising all-too-familiar questions about locked windows and gates, lack of emergency exists, cramped work spaces, and trapping workers like rats.

These tragedies all have the same threads: charred bodies, bodies aflame, horrified witnesses, missing workers, unknown causes, weeping relatives at hospitals and morgues, workers jumping from second and third floors to save their lives, vows of investigations, insults hurled at regulators.

I say “all” because you don’t have to go back to the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Fire in Lower Manhattan 100 years ago to find exampled. A poultry processing plant in North Carolina locked in employees and lives were lost in a flash fire in the 1990s.

Food processing plants in the U.S. are notorious for locking exits.

Darn those employees, the owners seem to be saying. If only we could trust ‘em. They sneak off, take breaks, steal stuff. We’d hire more security guards or better security systems with surveillance cameras and alarms, but hey, this is a low margin business and we’re just trying to hang in there.

Could be Karachi. New York City. North Carolina. Nebraska. Blame it on those low wage workers. The owners, they’re just trying to make a buck. Safety? Can’t afford it. This is a dirty business.

Indeed.

A company suffers multiple worker fatalities in a fire because the doors were locked and emergency exits not provided – if guilty of documented negligence, throw the owners behind locked bars in very tight jails with bad housekeeping. And publicize the penalty so everyone knows. From Karachi to Omaha.

STAY CONNECTED

Facebook logo Twitter YouTubeLinkedIn Google + icon

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

ASSE Safety 2014 Review

A gallery of photos from the sprawling Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, where ASSE’s annual professional development conference was held June 8-11. All photos courtesy of the American Society of Safety Engineers.

6/26/14 2:00 pm EDT

Realizing ROI from Your Gas Detection Program

This presentation will cover why a safe workplace equates to good business, why keeping workers truly safe from hazardous gases requires a complete gas detection program, and how your investment can ensure an ROI to your overall business.

ISHN Magazine

ISHN0714_cover.jpg

2014 July

In this month's issue of ISHN, check out the top training companies and find out who the winners of the ISHN/ASSE Safety 2014 awards are.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

THE ISHN STORE

M:\General Shared\__AEC Store Katie Z\AEC Store\Images\ISHN\safetyfourth.jpg
Safety Engineering, 4th Edition

A practical, solutions-driven reference, Safety Engineering, 4th edition, has been completely revised and updated to reflect many of today’s issues in safety.

More Products

For Distributors Only - May 2014

ISHN0514FDO_cover.jpgFor Distributors Only is ISHN's niche brand standard-sized magazine supplement aimed at an audience of 2,000 U.S. distributors that sell safety products. Circulation only goes to distributors. CHECK OUT THEMAY 2014 ISSUE OF FDO HERE

ishn infographics

2012 US workplace deathsCheck out ISHN's new Infographic page! Learn more about worker safety through these interactive images. CLICK HERE to view the page.