John Morawetz from the ICWUC Health & Safety Department testified for the ICWUC and UFCW on June 4 at a Senate Homeland Security Committee roundtable. We support a multi-year reauthorization of the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) with four important improvements.
One, workers and labor representatives need to be involved in protecting our chemical infrastructure. Workers’ daily expertise must be utilized and documented in the drafting, implementation and evaluation of plant security plans. Our locals and members are rarely included in inspections while other federal agencies (including OSHA, NIOSH, Chemical Safety Board, MSHA) have established joint management and labor inspection models.
Two, everyone including CFATS inspectors must be trained on specific hazards, responses, their roles and drills. Three, whistleblowers must not face retaliation. DHS must have procedures on whistleblower retaliation including at least 90 days to file a complaint, a private right of action and for representatives to file complaints.
Lastly, DHS’ knows how facilities use best practices to reduce their risk including safer substances, reductions in storage and just in time use and should release this information annually.