Safety and Sustainability Lacked a Voice at Fukushima

30 Mar

That’s the title of an article Francesca Rheannon has published in Corporate Social Responsibility Newswire. Some of the workers have been hired by subcontractors and have been poorly paid, poorly trained, and poorly outfitted. And some of them have been, in consequence, badly injured. In some cases radiation levels were not being monitored in areas where workers were operating.

What’s the link between injured workers battling to contain the worsening nuclear disaster in Japan and the hundreds of thousands of Japanese residents as far away as Tokyo who are worrying about the radiation spreading invisibly into their air, water and soil? It’s not that the former are trying to protect the latter, although that is true. It’s that a company that takes worker health and safety as cavalierly as TEPCO does is one that takes the health and safety of the environment just as cavalierly.

Rheannon goes on to note: “In the case of Fukushima-Daiichi, the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster a year ago and upper Big Branch Mine disaster before that (just to mention the most famous accidents in recent history), all the companies involved had been cited for poor worker health and safety records before the disasters.”

“Safeguarding worker health and safety isn’t just good for workers and the environment. It’s also good for companies.”



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