A Review of "A Dangerous Business". Lowell Bergmann & David Barstow. New York Times. PBS Frontline. 2003

Essay by dhdallasUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, February 2004

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David H. Dallas (author)

English 111: Writing II

Clarion Universtiy of PA

September 29, 2003

A Review of "A Dangerous Business"

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the PBS television show Frontline, and the New York Times collaborated on a project which resulted in a series of New York Times articles entitled "Dangerous Business" and a documentary series of the same name that aired in January 2003. The nine-month investigation in particular dealt with McWane, Inc. of Birmingham, Alabama, the parent non-public company that owns Tyler Pipe in Tyler, Texas and a host of other iron foundries located across the U.S. and in Canada.

The New York Times series opens with a grim statement that paints a chilling scene of horror.

"It is said that only the desperate seek work at Tyler Pipe, a sprawling, rusting pipe foundry out on Route 69, just past the flea market. Behind a high metal fence lies a workplace that is part Dickens and part Darwin, a dim, dirty, hellishly hot place where men are regularly disfigured by amputations and burns, where turnover is so high that convicts are recruited from local prisons, where some workers urinate in their pants because their bosses refuse to let them step away from the manufacturing line for even a few moments."


Barstow and Bergmann contend that to be in the employ of McWane, Inc. is to hold one of the most hazardous jobs in the country. Between 1995 and 2003, 4600 injuries have occurred at McWane-owned industries. Reviews of company records indicate that hundreds of the injuries were indeed grave. An offender of more than 400 national health and safety laws of which they have been notified, McWane has committed more safety infractions than that of the six primary companies it vies with combined (2).

McWane is not...