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Environment and Public Safety Issues

I recently quit a job, at a plating shop, that plated everything from acid based to cyanide based solutions. This place has broken many environmental laws and worker safety practices. I did what I could but everything I said just fell on deaf ears. I've worked in other plating shops where spills were contained within the building and then dealt with, this place just pumps solutions into the sewer system. The roof leaks, quite badly, where they store their cyanides and other dry chemicals which is also stored in an area where there is no air-exchange system in place. Opening the windows, I guess, is satisfactory. I've taken my complaints/issues to two government agencies and the local municipality (along with documentation/diagrams. etc.). There is a lot more to mention about this particular company and any help or advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

Kevin Gendron
lab technologist/plater - Ontario, Canada
September 25, 2008

Hi, Kevin. If you tell us which government agencies you complained to, maybe someone can suggest an agency you missed.

It's common for unions to file environmental complaints when there is labor strife, but the struck companies on average are no more likely to be offending than unstruck companies; so the agencies may be unenthusiastic about committing investigative resources in a way that represents nothing more than taking sides in a labor dispute. Similarly, reports from disgruntled former employees probably carry less weight than complaints from other sources.

Assuming you are viewing the situation dispassionately, I hope you are successful in getting them properly investigated! A company that is dumping is competing very unfairly against other companies which are handling their wastes properly! Good luck.


Ted Mooney,
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha - Pine Beach, New Jersey
September , 2008

Thanks for answering my question Ted. I have contacted the Ministry of Environment(MOE) and the Ministry of Labour(MOL). The MOE said they will conduct further investigations but they cannot do anything unless there is an actual spill and it has to be reported (not very likely by someone within this company). The MOL has yet to visit and the local municipal government seems to be sitting on their hands. As for your other question, this company is non-union and there are no issues between the employees and management that I know of. Thanks again.

Kevin Gendron
lab technologist/plater - Ontario, Canada
September 26, 2008

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