NBC Evening News for Monday, Sep 25, 1978
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(Studio) Complaints about regulations enacted by OSHA described. Laws under which OSHA works reported to be slow and possibly causing illness and even death in industry situations.
REPORTER: David Brinkley
(No location given) Occupational hazards in working at smelter outlined; is noted that companies can take precautions to protect workers and that some don't. Case of retired smelter worker Oney Vigil described; his health problems detailed. [VIGIL - wouldn't have worked in smelter if he'd known what he knows now. Mentions problems of changing jobs later in life. Says company doesn't care because worker can always be replaced.] Vigil's job at Globe plant in Denver mentioned. Attitude of men who work there now described. Studies of plant, owned by New York-based ASARCO, reported; findings that cadmium processed by plant is highly poisonous stated. Findings by United States Public Health Service inspectors at plant in 1977 listed. [Health Service spokesperson Dr. Bobby GUNTER - discusses concern about workers' exposure to cadmium and outlook for workers if exposure conts.] Laws protecting workers from continuing hazards and frequent delays in enforcing them noted. Chgs. against ASARCO for hazards in other plants reported Plants in Tacoma, WA, for exposure to arsenic, and E. Helena, MT, for exposure to lead, given as exs. Details given about delays in court appeals of citations. OSHA inspection of Globe plant mentioned. [OSHA spokesperson Curtis FOSTER - discusses amount of time appeals of citations could take, all the way to Supreme Court Says workers continue to be exposed to alleged dangers during appeals.] Questions of many about adequacy of current laws, given time factor involved in enforcing them, reported Mentioned in report are Brookhaven National Lab. and Wall Street.
REPORTER: Robert Bazell (KING-TV newsfilm, Seattle)