By NICOLE GRANT
(March 5, 2015) — There is nothing glamorous about getting killed at work. I know because, as a journeyman electrician, I’ve seen it happen. For the family and friends left behind the loss is a true horror. That’s why I fight for workers’ safety everyday as a representative of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.
I’m sorry to say that not everyone feels the same way. There is a movement this year in Olympia to deregulate the electrical industry. Several bills are being heard by the legislature that would decrease safety training, electrical certification, licensing, permitting and inspections.
Why is this happening when there is no public outcry to make electrical work less safe? It’s not like people call their State Senators to say, “You shouldn’t need training to do electrical work!”
Simply put, there are some very greedy corporations and businesses that think they could make more money if they didn’t have to follow regulations. A group that represents landlords (slumlords?) also supports deregulation so they can hire unqualified people to do cheap electrical work on rental homes. It sounds like a death trap in the making.
Let’s put an end to this nonsense and tell our elected officials to keep Washington safe for consumers and workers! Please sign this change.org petition to stop these deregulation bills — SB 5281, 5282, 5845, 5846, and HB 1315, 1608, 1609 and 1876 — from passing.
Nicole Grant is Executive Director of the Certified Electrical Workers of Washington.