United Steelworkers Vice President Gary Beevers spoke with Workers Independent News today about the need for improved safety standards in the oil industry and more. Click here to listen to the report. Click here for more on the USW's Health, Safety and Environment efforts and here for more on our oil workers.
Correspondent Doug Cunningham filed this report for WIN:
United Steelworkers Vice President Gary Beevers says whether it’s at the bargaining table or in the halls of Congress, the union is determined to work hard to improve oil refinery safety. Beevers says stronger safety practices need to be enforced through collective bargaining contracts and OSHA regulations need to have more teeth with higher fines for safety violations while protecting whistle-blowing workers.
[Beevers]: “We intend to push for all of the above. In addition to that, I think we need to have an independent oversight or regulatory commission kind of like the nuclear industry to overview refining safety. We need to push to get a bigger budget for OSHA so that OSHA can do the kind of inspections it needs to be doing. There needs to be a change in the system for levying fines and enforcement. Right now you can kill somebody and have a willful violation and the only thing that OSHA can fine ‘em is seven thousand dollars.”