Sample Essay On A Dangerous Business: The Mcwane Story
Workplace health and safety is one important aspect in every organization. Occupational safety and Health Administration plays a great role in providing employers with some of the guidelines to help them enhance health and safety in the workplace. Violation of the health and safety rules as provided by the OSHA to an employer results to serious fines and penalties to the organization. McWane Inc. is an example of companies that have violated the employment law by incurring many deaths and workplace injuries, poor working environment for its employees and providing false reports regarding to its health and safety. This paper focuses on discussing employment violation by the McWane Inc. in due course of its operation. The paper starts by discussing some of the duties that the employment law provides to all the employers upon whose violation results to fine to the employee.
Employers are obliged to play an important role in ensuring that their employees remain comfortable within the workplace in order to enhance their productivity. Ideally, this means that employers have various duties to their employees. First, employers have the duty to provide a healthy and safe working environment for their employees. Close supervision of the employees in the workplace is one important duty in minimising work-related injuries. This is not limited to providing a working environment that could allow employees to flee in case of emergencies. Ideally, this means that employers should provide the employees with protective devices that can help the handle the equipment comfortably a good example being overalls and gloves. In addition, they have the duty to provide employees with a written guideline on how to handle equipment and machines when working. This means that there is a great need for the employers to train their employees on how to handle equipment and provide precaution guidelines for them to follow when working (Smith 102).
Furthermore, the employer should supervise the employees closely when working in order to provide instructions. This is very important in enhancing the degree of safety in the workplace. Employee training should be regular in order to make them conversant with health and safety rules. Moreover, it is the duty of the employer to avail first aid kits to employers. These first-aid kits are essential in helping employees to handle emergencies that may arise in the course of their duty. Finally, it is important for employers to make the employees understand the importance of consulting anything that looks unclear as it pertains to workplace health and safety (Smith 105).
According to the employment law, employees have the right to be compensated for their services they provide to their employers. Employment law provides the employers within minimum wage that they should provide to their employees below which they breach the employment law. In addition, the law also provides for the need for the employers to ensure that their employees get enough rest. Other incentives provided by the law to the employees include annual leaves and offs especially during holidays. The law also provides the need for the formation of workers union whose main duty is to fight for employee remuneration rights thus protecting them from being discriminated by their employers (Emerson 199)
McWane Inc. case is a good example of an employer who breached the employment law. Being in Iron manufacturing operations, the company focused more on making profits rather than providing health and safety for its employees. Back in 2003, The New York Times Article took the initiative in collaboration with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to carry out an investigation involving thousands of injuries and nine deaths that had happened in McWane, Inc. Claims are that the company has been subject to workplace safety and environmental law violation. Most of the cases as reported by the article have revealed that the company lied to the regulators. It did so by altering accident scenes that happened in its premises, fabricated documents and tormented employees by giving false information to the authorities (David all).
An outstanding example of McWane Inc employment law violation is the case of the Tyler plant in Texas. In this case, the company retrenched two-thirds of the employees in the name of increasing employee productivity. Besides, the company used threats to dismiss employees in order for them to provide lies to the authorities something that saw the company suffer fines.
The company also failed in its duties as an employer by violating the federal safety laws by its failure to prevent 4,600 injuries in its plant in 1995. OSHA inspectors found many violations including numerous environmental violations. According to the inspectors, the company failed to provide employees with conducive environment for working. Ideally, this is because the plant remained dusty, rust and had a poor lighting system. The plant also did not provide the standard sanitation facilities such as enough toilets. In addition, the inspectors also noted other 400 safety violations within the company. As a result, OSHA fined McWane Inc. $196,000 for these violations (OSHA all).
Furthermore, the employer further failed to in its duties by breaching the employment law as it pertains to employee working hours and resting hours provisions. The employment clearly provides that the employer need to provide its employees with enough time for rest. However, this was not the case for McWane Inc. because the supervisors of the company many a times forced the employees to work longer than the maximum stipulated working hours by imposing threats.
Employment law provides that it’s the duty of employer to carry out risk assessments regularly in order to improve health and safety of the organization. Risk assessment is very important in helping the employer to determine the levels of weaknesses in its system. However, this is one duty that the employer did not factor the due course of the organization’s operation. It went a mile further to violate the law by preventing the OSHA inspectors to conduct impact assessment. The worse of all is that the company made false reports in its risk assessment reports.
Moreover, the employer also failed to accomplish his duty as per the employment law that provides that it’s the duty of the employee to provide the employees with all the required protective devices for handling the equipment and machinery. It is clear that McWane Inc. breached this provision an outstanding example being the case of an employee who handled very hot steel sledge. This employee was only provided with protective goggles and gloves. The employee lacks a protective cloth that can prevent him of the fatality and injury that may occur in case of spillage of the hot substance. Ideally, this is to mean that most of the injuries associated with employee negligence are also subject to lack of protective clothing.
The company also failed in its duty as an employer by not providing its employees with health and safety training. The Dangerous Business movie reveals that most of the deaths and injuries that happened in Mc Wane Inc. were subject to employee negligence. Ideally, employee negligence clearly indicates that the company failed to train the employees on what is expected of them when handling equipment and machinery in the plant. In addition, it suggests that the employer failed to provide a close supervision of employees when working. Finally, it also reveals that the company’s supervisors failed to provide proper instruction and guide to the employees. If good training and close provision was availed in the plant, the company would have prevented some of the fatalities and injuries that arose due to carelessness.
In conclusion, it is true that the employer have had several employment law violation issues that has led to much fines of the organization. In adequate employee training and supervision of employees in the workplace remains one of serious issue facing the company. Other employment law violations that the company has suffered include; poor working environment, failure to provide protective clothing to the employees, failure to comply with the maximum working hour’s provision and failure to carry out risk assessment of the plant. It is important for the company to avail focus on following the health and safety provisions as dictated by the employment. This will help the company in ensuring that the workplace offers the employees a conducive working environment with minimal work-related injuries (Arlington 210).
Arlington, Va. OSHA and the Unions; Bargaining on Job Safety & Health. 1973. Print.
David, Barstow. Iron Pipe Maker Is Fined $8 Million for Violations. The New York Times. April 24, 2009. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/25/nyregion/25pipe.html?_r=2&scp=1&sq=mcwan e&st=cse&. Print.
Emerson, Robert W. Business Law. 4th ed. Hauppauge, N.Y.: Barron's, 2004. Print.
OSHA. McWane plant cited by OSHA. Ishn.com. April 18, 2003. Retrieved from http://www.ishn.com/articles/84732-mcwane-plant-cited-by-osha. Print.
Smith, Peggie R. Principles of Employment Law. St. Paul, MN: West, 2009. Print.
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