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Preventing serious accidents

An IBEW Business Manager proclaims that many serious accidents are being reported by Local Unions all at once.

Gary Bonker's picture
Jul 27, 2016

We recently attended a 3rd District Workshop in July. These meetings are a free exchange of information, questions and ideas between Business Managers of IBEW Local Unions in the 3rd District. Topics can include contracts, accidents, arbitrations, organizing, etc.

The reason I bring this up to you is that in the twenty-five years or so that I have attended these meetings, I do not remember so many serious accidents being reported by Local Unions at once.

In the past four months there were four people badly burned from electrical archs, one person was electrocuted and burned, one person thrown from his bucket and pinned under the boom and one person severely crushed by a backhoe. These are just the accidents from IBEW Utility Local Unions in the 3rd District.

All but one of these serious accidents could have been prevented by the people doing the job. Not using any rubber, not using your PPE, not asking for another person to help do the task at hand, not knowing where people are around you at the worksite, working on a piece of equipment that you haven't been trained to work on.

These are not the actions that we pride ourselves on. An IBEW Union member sets themselves apart from the non-union worker. We show up on time for work, we give eight hours work for eight hours pay, we are skilled and trained at what we do and most importantly we do our work the safe way. We go home to our loved ones the same way we came to work.

These serious injuries are completely unacceptable. We must take the time to do the job correctly and safely.

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