Posted by: Lipstick Piggy | October 16, 2008

GE Environmental Hazards Exposed by Worker

We received this in the comments section on  GE suffers losses article but wanted to put it on it’s own page for all to read and have their eye’s opened.

 

Here is why I no longer work for General Electric. This is my letter of resignation from last year. I signed a document saying i would not speak of this in order to receive my last paycheck.

To whom it may concern,

It is my intent to terminate my employment with G.E.
Water and Process Technologies. My last day will be
9-21-07. This is for the following reasons:

On 9-6-07 Mike Gretchen our EHS leader attempted to
bully me. I had raised a concern to Carol McGee our HR
person about an off color remark made to me by Mr.
Gretchen. Mr. Gretchen told me he didn’t recall making
the statement, and that if I had a problem with
anything he says, I should talk to him about it, and
not anyone else. I’m sure he won’t be able to recall
this either. I’ve also been waiting for about 6 weeks
for a $5.00 chinstrap for my hard hat, that according
to another employee, Mr. Gretchen cannot find to
purchase. I found one in 2 seconds by typing “hard hat
chin strap” in a google search. I need this in order
to keep my hard hat on while wearing a full faced
resporator, So basically, I’ve been holding my breath
allot the past six weeks. I used to remove my helmet
while wearing my resporator, but i was told not to do
it any more.

I have also raised many concerns regarding rules and
regulations that for the most part have been ignored
or swept under the rug. Some examples:

Continuing production when SAP goes down. This is a
direct violation of ISO standards. Basically, we are
told to write down lot numbers on the process order,
and hand write labels for raw materials being prepped.
On several occasions, material that is in quality hold
has ended up in batches due to this practice. If you
pull the process orders from days where SAP is down,
you’ll see notes written on the front of them that
says “Gunwork needs done”

PRODUCTS SHIPPED IN THE WRONG CONTAINERS: Example:
Steamate NA1321 is shipped in non-UN approved
containers. This is a placarded ammonia based product.
Nobody seems to understand that this container must
have UN markings, and be UN tested. Currently putting
this product in what is known as an 82 semi-bulk
container. Should go in a 86 semi-bulk container. Also
these containers never get cleaned, we put the same
product back in it after it comes back from the
customer empty. The seals leak on these containers
frequently, sometimes after it has been loaded on a
truck for shipment.

VERY FEW NSF, FDA, AND KOSHER PRODUCTS ARE
MANUFACTURED TO STRICT UNIFIED PROCEDURE. For example,
if the finished product is going into a reusable
semi-bulk container, it is basically junk, because
NONE of the semi-bulk containers are cleaned out to
unified standards. Also, there is no way to determine
what the last product in the tote was, so you could be
putting a kosher product into a tote that last had an
oil based product in it. When prepping a mixer for a
unified batch ALL delivery equipment should be steamed
and rinsed with DI water, i.e. pumps, hoses, meters,
transfer lines, etc. This is not always the case, and
I’ve never seen anyone steam out the delivery meters
and hoses on the deck in three years. The raw material
CI-166 is a non-unified product that gets run through
the delivery meters daily. Products that require a
unified cleanout with DI rinse are either made or
transfered into the Vertical Tanks in the EP room.
There is no DI water line in that location to perform
such a task. I brought this up when Joe Alexander was
our acting plant manager. He told me to write it up to
maintanence, which I did. They installed a “T” in the
DI line, but never ran the sillcock drop to the
vertical tanks. I’ve also personally stopped bad
product from being shipped. Example: i noticed an
operator making a food-grade FDA product (Steamate
FM1003) right after a silicone based batch (Prochem
6A2). Had I not raised a concern, it would have
shipped out.

WRONG 4″ UN DIAMONDS ON INTERNATIONAL DRUMS AND PAILS:
These markings must be able to withstand 90 days
submerged in seawater. Ours are made from paper, not
vinyl. They won’t last 30 seconds under a garden hose.

THE PROCESS ORDER IS FREQUENTLY WRONG: Process orders
frequently have the wrong semi-bulk container listed
as the package to use for the product. Non-UN totes
are ordered when in fact it needs to be in a UN
approved container. This is a big one: KOSHER PRODUCTS
WITH NO UNIFIED CLEANOUT SPECIFICATIONS! The product
has the kosher marking on the label, but the process
order makes no mention.

POOR ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROLS: The scrubber systems
provide little or no ventilation in most packaging
areas. The scrubber system is not set up to release
pressurized vapor from empty mix vessels into the
scrubber system. The mixers are either aired down
straight out the roof, or the operator attempts to
work the automatic valve to the scrubber, usually
resulting in the vapor being blown out into the
production area via pressure release flaps in the duct
work.

LACK OF BASIC HAND TOOLS: example: we have one wrench
in the whole building to tighten down the fine
threaded bung on poly-insert 55 gallon drums. So if
you need it, the company pays us to walk around for 30
minutes trying to find it. We also lack certain hose
adapters, etc.

NO OIL WASTE TANK. Even it is OK to put our waste oil
into the non-hazardous waste water tank (I’m not even
sure that it is) I feel it is negligent at best. What
about ECOMAGINATION? I know I’m not allowed to dump my
used motor oil into my kitchen sink. We make millions
of pounds of oil based products a year, and the mixer
heels and mixer cleanouts go straight to the
non-hazardous waste water tank, that in turn goes to
cleveland via Clean Harbors, get’s the pH neutralized,
and then gets jetted into the Cuyahoga river.

NO PHYSICALS: I am a member of the HAZWOPER team. None
of us are really certified, as it states that we must
receive a physical once a year. The company doesn’t
offer physicals to anyone. All employees that work
with potentially hazardous substances should be
getting checked out, especially the poor guys working
in the acid room with substances such as hexavalant
chromium.

Honestly, I could go on and on, but this tires me. I
would highly recommend that someone look into these
matters quickly so that there is no reason for me to
contact the National Sanitation Foundation, Loyd’s
Quality Assurance, DOT, EPA, etc.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Seth Reber
Chemical Operator, 2nd Shift
New Philadelphia Plant
GE Betz
SSO: 218010233

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