Working in a plant is so dangerous because the equipment is so old. There hasn’t been a new plant brought online for decades. Then you
have immense pressure and dangerous chemicals all around you. It’s
a recipe for disaster—and that’s why so many people are hurt.
They make so much money from these plants, and they invest so little back.
I’m always shocked at how they foresaw the problem—they knew
it was a problem—and they just didn’t fix it. It shocks me.
There is sometimes a difference between what we want to believe and what
reality is. We all want to believe that these big companies—big
energy companies, chemical companies, oil and gas companies—that
they care about safety, that they care about the workers who go in day
and day out and work hard,
really hard, putting it all on the line for the companies. We want to believe
that the companies also care about the workers. The reality of that is
that it’s not true.
What the companies really care about is dollars and cents.
Time after time and case after case, we get into the facts of what happened
and why did it happen—what we learn is that companies cheated on
maintenance, cheated on safety, just to save a few dollars. It is absolutely
wrong and people’s lives are affected by this. So when we see aging
equipment and we see companies that say one thing out of their mouth about
safety but then don’t follow it through with actions, it drives
us to work harder to hold these companies responsible.
Because the only thing that will make them change is having top-notch representation.
They know they can trot out their team of lawyers and their team of experts
and come up with excuses and stonewall and find ways to avoid responsibility—avoid
making the type of changes that are necessary to keep workers safe. When
they see that we’re on the other side, they know they can’t
get away with it. They know our track record. They know we’ve taken
on the Exxons, the Conocos, the Chevrons—that
we have taken on the biggest companies and we have won. They know when they see us on the other side that they are going to get
exposed for what they have done and that we will hold them accountable
until they change their ways and take care of our clients.