More government oversight could have averted tragedy

Photo credit: KMOV via AP

From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

by Laura Barrett, Executive Director of Interfaith Worker Justice

Dozens of friends and relatives are mourning the death of four workers who suffered and died from the explosion at Loy-Lange Box Co. last week.

It’s worth noting that the Post-Dispatch reports (April 5) “The city of St. Louis is exempt from the Missouri law requiring regular inspections of high-pressure boilers by either a state inspector or insurance company.”

Those who bemoan allegedly intrusive government regulations should understand that this tragedy could have been averted with more — not less — independent oversight. Too often, employers are tempted by greed to cut corners and endanger or exploit workers.

Employees need and deserve protection from unscrupulous, profit-driven bosses. Unions usually do a terrific job of this. But enforcement of vigorous safety laws by all levels of government is needed too.

Read more from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch