One of the most important long term accomplishments at the City of Chicago Department of Water Management is the safety of the workers. When I first started blowing the whistle on the lack of jobsite safety, the department refused to make the legally required shoring requirements. Chicago Clout made an entry on shoring October 30, 2007. At that time I was happy some progress was made. I was also very upset because the Office of the Inspector General refused to get involved. What greater savings than reducing workman's compensation claims by using common sense? If the Office of the Inspector General sends out their Investigators and make sure there is compliance, the scofflaws will fall into line. The old mentality of, "We will get more work done, and shoring slows down the job" is a myth. I was very happy to know the December 13, 2011 Jardine Safety Plant Shoring meeting was also attended by Irene Caminer, the Director of Legal Services with the Department of Water Management. Many at the meeting talked up about their concerns and also want a safer work environment. It is good to have senior management take safety serious. I again want to congratulate Mark Holder as Chicago Clout's City of Chicago Employee of the Year (2011) for taking a rag tag political safety department and making it a department taxpayers can be proud of. An honorable mention goes to Alice Carter in the same Department that said, "We can't take chances anymore". Put this on the record, Chicago Water Department Employees were given a phone number that records the call, use it. If you are working with a boss that refuses to use shoring, that boss will get ten days off, The Superintendent will get ten days off, (except those politically connected), and the person caught in the unprotected ditch. Fran Spielman of the Chicago Sun-Times and I should also get an award for pushing worker safety, but that will not happen. Again, job well done Mark Holder, you have greatly improved the taxpayer's interest. It is no surprise Local 130 never did a single thing to help it's members get safety improvements. Illinois Department of Labor. Story by Patrick McDonough.
The first of several complaints many years ago never made it through the heads of Mayor Daley’s employees. Many Chicago Department of Water Management employees received their promotions thanks to politics. This tradition continues despite than many complaints from non-clouted workers. Several of the foremen were reminded to place the shoring in the ditches to save lives. Chicago Whistleblower Patrick McDonough was made aware some crews on the Southside were caught again with-out the shoring. The Illinois Department of Labor is in charge of enforcement at the Department. I do not know why the Water Department does not enforce this common sense safety rule. I suggest privatizing all pipe work and firing the every foreman and their superiors in the Department. Rahm Emanuel might start to enforce the rules and save lives. Chicago Clout will start to videotape again until safety rules are back in place. Remember, if your boss asks you to work in a ditch with no shoring, call the commissioner. Save your job.