Monday, June 21, 2010

Syria: no OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) here!

Unfinished buildings, abandoned projects, ruins and earthquakes. Those are nothing compared to the daily hazards workers and individuals face on the job and in the home. I won't even go into food handling issues. We saw many, many vehicle repair and illegal assembly "plants": mostly small scale outfits in towns and villages located in "store fronts".....think a small garage for your car at home. No ventilation. No one wearing any protective gear: exposed ears and eyes, often in sandals while wielding welding gear. We saw small construction sites creating new shops ,same thing, no gear, wires and cords everywhere. The wiring in buildings, between buildings, just hanging in and out of windows is enough to give any trained electrician heart failure. It gets cold in the winter and most houses do not have central heating. People use little pot-bellied kerosene heaters, called sobyas, that are hooked up to ducts and pipes as needed and vented to the outside.

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