Friday, March 25, 2011

Have we learned enough in the last century?

Buzz Potamkin at Naked Capitalism takes a look at the 100th anniversary of the Shirtwaist Fire. And realizes that we've not grown as much as we could have in the last 100 years - at least in terms of protecting workers. In this post, he reminds us of some business-driven catastrophes that have happened in this millennium...

"2005
BP refinery in Texas City – 15 dead, over 150 injured

2006
Sago mine, West Virginia – 12 dead
Darby mine, Kentucky – 5 dead

2007
Deutsche Bank fire, NY – 2 firefighters dead, 2 injured

2008
Sugar refinery, Georgia – 13 dead, over 40 injured

2010
Power plant, Connecticut – 6 dead, over 50 injured
Upper Big Branch mine, West Virginia – 29 dead
Deepwater Horizon – 11 dead, GOM decimated by worst US oil spill
Interestingly, the Deutsche Bank fire brings us back full circle to Triangle: faulty standpipe, inoperable sprinklers, blocked exits, no city inspections, even no permits, and parties that should be indicted but aren’t, including the City of New York for gross negligence."
And now it looks like more than 25% of nuclear power plants in the US are not properly reporting defects at their plant...

Advocates of deregulation don't ever seem to remember any of these accidents. But what we don't need in America is less regulation and more life-threatening accidents that result from terrible business practices.

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