Thursday, November 21, 2013

Lives vs. profits. A false choice.

Two miners died in Ouray, Colorado this week.  Somebody's Dad.  Somebody's Granddad. Somebody's husband.  Somebody's friend.   

They were mining silver, gold, and lead.  

There is a human cost to planned obsolescence and always having to have the newest, best, fastest, coolest gadget.  Food for thought before the next upgrade to your phone / computer / camera?  

There is a human cost to cutting corners in mining.  

I have been in conversation with several people lately who have lamented government regulation of any and all industry because of the financial cost.  

They say that regulations are job killers.

It seems to me that lack of regulations and / or lack of regulations with teeth and / or lack of enforcement of said regulations are people killers.  Dad killers.  Husband killers.  Granddad killers.  Friend killers.  

I know that Dads and Husbands and Friends need jobs.  But asking us to choose between jobs and regulations is a false choice.  Asking us to choose between human life and profits is a false choice.  We can have both healthy, vibrant communities and healthy, vibrant, profitable workplaces.  

We can choose, as a society, to create and enforce, regulations that insist on best-safety practices in mines and all industries.  If we do, we might save someone's Granddad's life.  


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