The Ford Flat Rock accident and the fraud of UAW-management safety oversight
12 May 2018
It has been more than one week since the accident at the Ford Flat Rock Assembly Plant south of Detroit that injured veteran Ford employee Lynn Hagood, age 55. The woman suffered severe leg injuries after falling into a pit on the trim and final assembly line. The incident shocked and horrified workers, who insisted on being sent home after the accident although Ford management was determined to restart production.
Workers told the World Socialist Web Site Autoworker Newsletter that the area where Hagood was working on the assembly line—where the motor and transmission are lifted on a “moon buggy” into the rest of the vehicle that is being assembled—was known to be dangerous. They raised questions about whether Hagood had received proper training.
Since the accident, no one from management or the United Auto Workers has issued a statement on the incident or reported any pertinent facts. This is despite the fact that Ford workers throughout the US have been following the aftermath of the accident closely and sharing articles posted by the Autoworker Newsletter.
Workplace deaths and injuries are on the rise. Figures published by the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration showed a 13 percent rise of workplace deaths in 2016, the latest year for which figures are available.
Flat Rock Fire Chief William Vack told the Autoworker Newsletter that while details of the department’s response to the accident last week at Ford were protected by privacy laws, accidents at the plant are frequent. “We get EMS calls routinely out there, probably two or three times a week,” he reported.
As it does every year, the UAW marked Workers Memorial Day on April 28…