10 October 2014
Are We Safe? Wooden, a large factory that produces wood products by shaving and shaping logs, is largest employer in the small town of Littlebury with a population of approximately 1200 people. Littlebury is a close-knit community where everyone knows everyone. The factory runs 24/7 and utilizes approximately 1000 logs per day. The amount of activity creates a large amount of “dust” from the logs and has been accumulating inside the factory. So much in fact, there are areas that have up to 3 inches of dust sitting. This has created a safety concern among the employees because wood dust is a combustible material and has caused respiratory issues for some employees due to inhaling the dust. Employees have complained to the company for years, but they have yet to find a way to clean the dust from the factory. Recently one employee noticed sparks in the air near her work station, when she reported it she was told not to worry about it. Now she and other employees including myself are scared the factory will explode. I have decided to report this concern through channels within the factory. Starting with the safety coordinator, Jason Rhine. After speaking with him I was told not worry, the dust is not combustible and the employee who saw sparks, probably just saw random reflections of light. He is going to work on getting the factory cleaned up next month. I then spoke with the area manager, Alex Rivera. Mr. Rivera told me a major clean up would stop production at the factory for at least two days and that he has been in this business for 30 years and does not feel the accumulation of dust is a dangerous situation. I was also told “not to make any trouble”. Finally I spoke with the owner of the company, Tony Lord. Mr. Lord told me since I could not prove there is a safety hazard, and saying otherwise would be slandering him and the company, I should not have come to him. He then told me he does not like disloyal employees. I would report this situation to outside agencies. As an employee, I have a responsibility to the factory and my fellow employees to ensure the factory meets its moral obligations to the employees and the town of Littlebury.
There are several possible consequences of reporting this situation to outside agencies. The first would be the possible loss of my job or negative treatment by my superiors. Another consequence would be the possibility of the factory being closed down temporarily or permanently resulting in the other employees losing their jobs as well as the impact that would have on their families and…