Worker involvement in developing chemical security plans seen as critical
A United Steelworkers (USW) expert on workplace chemical security issues testified yesterday before a U.S. House subcommittee on legislation to extend what are known as ‘Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards’ (CFATS), arguing that the proposal shouldn’t simply renew temporary measures passed in 2007, but needs to make improvements.
Testifying before the Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy, James S. Frederick, Assistant Director for USW Health, Safety and Environment, cited the union as part of a broad coalition of employers, communities, regulators and legislators for the issue. “Workers are the best source to identify vulnerable hazards and often have much more hands-on worksite experience to recommend solutions,” he said.
“To be fully effective, worker participation must be supported by strong and effective whistleblower protection,” Frederick added.
Leo W. Gerard, USW President, supported Frederick’s testimony that criticized H.R. 908 to maintain CFATS without improvements. “It would jeopardize the hundreds of thousands of US members employed at chemical-related facilities and residents who live in surrounding communities. We support the more comprehensive bills introduced by U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) to address the preventable hazards these plants pose ... more