In Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s latest ad, he is seen standing in a big hole. What some people might not realize is the unsafe example Walker is setting for workers in this field.
Jeff Kaminski, president of the United Steelworkers (USW) Local 2006, representing workers at investor-owned utilities in the state, made an official complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and called for the commercial to be pulled from the air. Says Kaminski:
It’s clear Gov. Walker’s never worked a day of his life in this field. Gov. Walker should be fined by OSHA, and this commercial should be immediately pulled for safety reasons. This is someone in a leadership position setting an unsafe example for workers. Gov. Walker’s violations send the wrong message to anyone trying to follow the rules and come home safe at the end of the day. Safety is the backbone of the union movement. We want all workers to come home safe at the end of the day. We can’t have an example like this playing statewide.
Not only is Walker not wearing any personal protective equipment, or PPE as it is often referred to, such as a hard hat, safety gloves, work vest or safety glasses, but he is making errors that could end in serious injury.
Kaminski was shocked when he first saw Scott Walker’s ad on TV.
I immediately noticed that the hole appears to be more than five feet deep, the ladder is not positioned correctly and Gov. Walker is making a host of mistakes, putting his safety at risk.
There is no shoring to hold up the side walls. Holes with unstable ground or greater than five feet must be shored and the ladder must extend two feet above the hole. As somebody who spends my days pushing safety on the job, these are big offenses.
Is this how Gov. Walker is going to have workers work? He says he wants to create jobs—is he going to force workers to work in these unsafe conditions?