What’s the greater obscenity?

February 10th, 2006 by Julie Ferguson

The Indiana AFL-CIO thinks that regulatory fines tell a story of what we value as a society. They note that Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction” netted CBS fines of $550,000. In contrast, the total fines levied against the Sago coal mine for 276 safety violations over a two-year period was $33,600. The AFL-CIO has compiled a chart that offers a few other points of comparison – check it out. Good for them for putting this in context. (via Confined Space)
Meanwhile, the Huntington Herald-Dispatch covers the details of the sole surviving miner’s long, slow path to recovery. He didn’t expect to survive – a wrenching good-bye note that he had written to his family just surfaced. His recovery to date has defied medical odds, but his prognosis is still unclear. This article gives a window into the nightmare that that a serious work injury can impose on the family, as well as the worker.
There was another article this past week about the effect that a work injury can have on a family. Eric Pera of The Ledger recounts the story of Eric Guzman, whose legs were crushed and mangled in a work accident last year, from the viewpoint of the family. The emotional and financial toll of a serious work injury can be enormous. Perhaps if more work injuries were reported from the vantage of the workers’ families, it would help drive home the vital importance of prevention.