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|← University of Khartoum||David Uhlmann →|
The author of this article traces the scenario of Scott Dominguez that almost cost his life. As narrated by the author, it was on august 1996 in Idaho, where an employee almost lost his life due to unsafe working conditions. Being young and strong Scott was healthy as he reported to a plant called evergreen resources where he had been working for years. According to other employees, the plant’s owner has always been exploiting them because of their dependency to his money. In fact, they renamed it from evergreen resources to ever death.
To cut the long story short, it was proving that the cause of injuries was due to hazardous waste in the plant. Allan Elias, the owner of the plant violated environmental laws thinking that he would get away with it. A case that started as seeking justice for Scott became a platform for advocating environmental laws by severely punishing Elias.
In this article, the author follows on the legal proceedings that follow the case of Allan Elias. Being the owner of the plant, Elias always finds a way to get ahead of the lawyers against him. He is able to buy evidence, fake statement, but, in the end, he is jailed for 17 years. This is such a prodigious lesson to companies that violate environmental laws. Accoring to Hilldorfer (2004), this was the longest sentence that had ever been set to people found guilty of violating environmental laws.
On the other hand, Scott’s case is also an example of how risky it is to work in dangerous conditions. Employees have rights, and provision of a safe workplace and working condition is part of the package. Referring to Scott’s case, it was evident that he was afraid of the task allocated to him, but he had no option because he wanted the money. Therefore, as much as money is desperately needed, employees’ safety should be considered.
In this article, the author prints an interview that recorded Joseph Hilldorfer who was the co-author of the book, the cyanide canary. Hilldoffer takes the listener through the whole scenario of Scott Dominguez, and how justice was served. In short, this story is about a rich man named Allan Elias who owns a plant called evergreen resources. However, according to the employees the plant does not deserve its name, they call it ever death. This is because of the hazardous waste that risks the lives of the employees.
This was discovered after Scott Dominguez, a twenty year old employee at the plant, was admitted because of critical injuries he got at his workplace. Being a millionaire, Allan Elias thinks he is untouchable, and continuously ignored the environmental protection agency’s rules. He is able to buy evidence that supports his case; however, the law catches up with him for exploiting his employees by risking their lives.
Hilldorfer and Dugoni give a detailed description of the condition of evergreen resources. This way, it is clearly seen that the lives of the employees in the plant are always endangered just because of negligence. The working conditions are extremely dangerous, and as a result, almost killed Scott Dominguez a twenty year old employee. This issue goes beyond seeking justice for Scott, but also to punish the owner of the plant at evergreen resources for violation of environmental protection agency’s laws.
Nevertheless, this scenario unfolds various cases in workplaces and calls for attention from the occupational safety and health act. This protects people from dangers at working places, and, therefore, advocates for safety measure. According to the author, these safety measures are such as improving the condition of these workplaces, and ensuring employees have a medical cover on trusted insurance agencies. Moreover, this is to avoid cases that endanger the lives of employees.