The youngest two and myself spent some time Sunday afternoon watching a most interesting documentary on toxicology, highlighting the life of Dr. Alexander Gettler. It was fascinating to see the science of forensics, before it was accepted in criminology, and the fight to have it respected. However, it hit home for me.
As a safety assistant for a general contractor, part of my job is researching and presenting the safety information needed for our guys to be in compliance with safety requirements. To be honest, some of the guys see some of these safety requirements as huge inconveniences that make them work longer on a particular job and end up costing the customer more. But they get to go home at night because they are safe. Watching the documentary showed me that there was a time when workers injured on the job were accused of being weak and crippled before they came and the employer had been kind to them in even giving them a job.
I shared this information with the guys and how working in dangerous environments was pushed under the rug for many years. It brought a new light to the reason why we go over dangerous chemicals and the protocol for dealing with them, including learning how many parts per million you can be exposed to before serious illness and death occur. There is a reason why we follow these safety rules and maintain our data on ISN, a safety portal for industries and their contractors.
Today, I’m grateful for the hard work of Dr. Gettler, for perfecting the science of toxicology and helping to get legislation passed to protect workers. Our guys get to go home at night to their families because they work safe.