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View Diary: Steel Executives Sentenced to Prison for Worker Deaths (92 comments)

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  •  I have worked (0+ / 0-)

    for large corporations in both areas and understand the differences, as well as the similarities and the areas of overlap.  It is, as you observe, a far more complex picture than I painted but I'm not trying to define corporate hierarchy here, I'm purposefully simplifying to make a pertinent point, which is not to conflate the two but rather to point out that both use various calculus to determine cost/benefit and much of what corporations do - in terms of worker safety, risk management, disaster recovery, governance etc. - are directly correlated to those cost/benefit analyses.

    As in my example, if it costs x amount to provide adequate safety measures and it costs y to manage the fallout from a dead employee (insurance, reputational risk, liability lawsuits, etc.) most corporations will chose the least expensive because a corporation only sees dollar signs.  To a corporation, they aren't employees, they're dollar figures.  So as long as the costs of a dead employee outweigh the alternative, great.  But when safety measures are prohibitively expensive, well, just hope you're not the guy doing that job.

    Other than getting caught up in trivial semantics over various corporate department names and functions, which is only barely relevant in terms of my comments here, my over-arching point is that if executives are held accountable for their decisions and prison time is a very real possibility, that will in and of itself provide plenty of incentive for corporations to take safety measures a little more seriously than they do today making workers safer overall because prison time is a cost far more profound that dollars.

    Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

    by democracy inaction on Tue Apr 19, 2011 at 06:29:20 AM PDT

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