Sunday, February 5, 2012
This Plant did not care about safety no wonder they closed
Back when I was going to Connolly Skill Center for Refrigeration & Heating School in 78 I started working weekends
for Burns International Security Agency as a guard to pay for bus fare and expenses while I still lived with my parents . Burns has since gone out of business being bought out in the 80's
My first assignment was a Forging plant in the Mckeesrocks Industrial Park which was a bunch of different company's that had located in what was once the Pressed Steel Car Company which made Rail Road Cars and which it self had a violent history with unions. This has been common practice around Pittsburgh to re use old industrial sites and turn them into office parks or industrial parks .Several of my customers are located in old steel mills. I got there by taking a transit bus then walking a mile to the plant.
They made these Gigantic Hooks at this forge which where used by the Coal Mining Industry for Long Wall Mining Machines and made ratchet binders and hooks for truckers to hold down loads as well as crane hooks.
As part of my patrol I was to walk around the plant and office area once every 2 hours to make sure things where locked and secure and report any problems I encountered including safety issues.
One weekend in particular I will never forget I just got to the plant on a Friday at 4:00 Pm as the guys where getting ready to leave when I hear a very loud hissing noise coming from around a milling machine and smell natural gas leaking. I quickly get the foreman's attention who tells me its nothing ignore it I said no there's something wrong you need to check it out. I get all the bad attitude from him but he finally goes over and checks it after I pick up the phone and start to call my supervisor and inform him I am leaving my post due to safety concerns.
Well after all his bitching and carrying on he goes over and finds there is a fitting missing off the gas line there's gas spewing everywhere ,where they had just moved a machine that day he shuts off the gas and leaves in a huff.
Not even a thank you I saved the plant from exploding . Everything went quiet for the shift and I showed up the next day for my shift on a Saturday and while walking thru the plant after my 3rd or 4th time thru there's another hiss this time there's an Oxygen tank leaking near a heat treating furnace similar to ones you see in picture at left, again this could be a bad thing if the leak got worse . I got the plant superintendent on the line described what I had he said he would be by later that day to check.
He comes by finds the leak thanks me for finding it and leaves.
Next weekend comes I get a call from Burns to go to a different site they no longer wanted me. there as I was causing problems . My supervisor told me I had done the right thing that's what we get paid for and screw them and he got me a nice assignment watching some office buildings which was a great assignment. A few months later the plant would have a fire along with couple others nothing ever to serious but then the mills all went down and with it the forge because they could no longer compete against foreign imports because the plant was so old and obsolete and workers did not give a damn about it . Maybe that was the plan all along by the workers blow the dam place up that will show the corporate pukes.
So my neighbors kids I grew up with dad and 84 others lost there jobs.
Of course that was probably the plan all along to close the plant as no money was being spent on fixing it. The corporation it self is still around having gotten rid of all its unproductive locations.
I eventually left Burns after they went from having full time dispatch office to none and no longer looked after our safety as they previously did calling and checking on us during our shifts to make sure we where OK.
There was one guard who worked for Burns who laid with a broken leg and had to fend off rats at a brick making facility in Hayes area of Pittsburgh next to Mesta Machine for a whole weekend many years ago when 2 guards did alternating 12 hr shifts and the alternate guard never reported for his shifts . Which is why they they did the phone calls in the first place and for them to do away with the welfare checks forget them.
But that's the way it was before OSHA and wrongful injury and death lawsuits made corporations straighten up. There is no excuse for not keeping job sites and workers safe.
But all too often this was the case in the Pittsburgh area too many company's did not care about there workers or the environment.
Posted by Nick Markowitz Jr. at 8:54 PM