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.