For Immediate release: January 8, 1996
THIRD WHISTLEBLOWER CLAIMS TO HAVE BEEN FIRED FROM THE ARMY'S UTAH INCINERATOR FOR RAISING SAFETY ISSUES- FILES CLAIM WITH DEPT. OF LABOR
A third EG&G Defense Materials, Inc. employee claims he is the latest in
the growing list of people fired from the Army's chemical weapons
incinerator for raising safety and environmental issues at the plant.
John R. Hall of Grantsville, Utah has filed a complaint with the U.S.
Department of Labor Tuesday stating that shortly after raising safety
issues at the Tooele plant he was harassed by other employees and
supervisors and was eventually fired for doing his job as required by law.
In the midst of an assignment to assess the plant's toxic maintenance
area for possible PCB drum storage leaks, Hall reported cracks in the
floors and walls of the plant to his supervisor. He also reported battery
acid leaks throughout the facility while preforming an in-depth
inspection of the Plant's emergency power system. As required, Hall
reported these findings, only to be rebuffed by an irate supervisor. The
next day Hall was transferred to another supervisor who terminated the
Consequently, Hall went on disability leave resulting from the
harassment suffered at the hands of EG&G supervisors and other
employees due to his reporting of these problems.
In addition to these issues, Hall also stated that in January of 1996, he
filed a complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health
Administration concerning leaking sulfuric acid from the life support
system transformers on to hydrogen bottles that were used for sampling
nerve agent. Hall states that he had previously reported this situation to
EG&G officials, but no action was taken. He therefore went to OSHA
with the complaint.
These incidents are identical to some of the more than 3,000 safety
deficiencies noted by former Chief Safety Officer, Steve Jones prior to his
being fired in 1994 over safety and environmental concerns at the Army
incinerator. According to Jones, then General Manager Henry Silvestri
instructed him to," Never put anything negative about this plant in
Silvestri has recently been rehired as General Manager by EG&G after
they fired yet another whistleblower, former General Manager, Gary
Millar for what he claims are the same reasons Jones and Hall have been
fired, raising safety and environmental concerns.
Craig Williams, national spokesperson for the Chemical Weapons
Working Group, an international coalition of community groups working
for safe disposal of chemical weapons, said, "The message from this
series of firings should be clear: ' If you don't go along with the Army's
and the Contractor's behavior of ignoring safety and environmental
problems for the sake of adhering to a schedule, your fired!' It's apparent
that the Congressional directive to destroy the U.S. stockpile of
chemical weapons 'While insuring Maximum Protection to workers, the
public and the environment' is not being taken seriously by the
Pentagon, the Army or their contractors."
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