Having a functioning and effective air system is important to the health and safety of workers in factories. It’s why 70% of all manufacturers have some form of compressed air system. Sadly, this doesn’t protect employees or residents from hazards outside the factory.
Recently there has been an issue with clean, healthy air in the area surrounding manufacturing plants in the United States. A company in Oregon, Entek, had recently won a case against Oregon officials regarding the presence of a chemical in the air that was having an adverse affect on the employees there.
The Oregon officials had wanted to tell residents about the presence of the chemical to prevent further incidents of poor health. Some side-effects that had been appearing in the employees included dementia, neurological problems, rashes, dizziness, and trouble driving home from work.
“For 30 years, we’ve worked to remain in compliance with OSHA standards and to implement technology and best practices to ensure both compliance and the safety of our employees,” said the company attorney, Joel Mullin.
Oregon environmental and health officials raised this case against Entek due to concern about potentially elevated levels of trichloroethylene near the Entek factory earlier this year.
Though Entek originally won the gag order, the case was revisited in court where Linn County Judge Carol Bispham ruled against the previous verdict, stating that, “Oregon’s health, worker safety, and environmental regulators have a right and a responsibility to communicate about their activities with the public.”
She went on to say, “Oregon has a policy that public records and governmental activities should be open to the public.”
Judge Bispham also dismissed the company’s claim that they would be harmed by the information and suffer a critical loss of business, stating that Entek “had not proved that it would suffer irreparable harm.”
After Judge Bispham’s ruling the Oregon Health Authority and Department of Environmental Quality, in a joint statement, stated that Entek’s air modeling results were going to be reviewed to determine what steps to take next.
The agencies also stated that they would keep the public apprised, and “look forward to working with Entek to provide transparent, accurate and science-based information to the public.”