U.W. Stop retaliating against Safety Reps.

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An improper maintenance procedure conducted in the Montlake Tower on July 15, 2015 resulted in the pumping of pure oxygen to Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) babies. This put these babies at risk of potential eyesight damage or blindness. The accident happened after Electrician, Larry Sweatt had warned his supervisors against proceeding in the face of inadequate protocols. The hospital was found to have been in non-compliance with state regulations during a follow up investigation by State D.O.H. investigators.
UW Medical Center Operations and Maintenance Managers (“O&MM”) lied to the State Fire Marshall and to investigators from the Department of Health during 2016 investigations concerning the 2015 power outage to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) of the hospital, and other serious safety issues involving the Hospital Emergency Room.
O&MM managers repeatedly denied having any foreknowledge of the serious safety issues, which had been reported to them in emails from electrician Larry Sweatt. Larry, who was also a Union Safety Representative on the Hospital Safety Committee, was scapegoated and falsely accused of not following up with them on these safety concerns. These same Managers oversaw lax maintenance protocols related to Legionella bacteria. A Legionaires disease outbreak occurred at UWMC in 1998. Confirmed cases of Legionella bacteria were found in 2013 and 2014. In 2016 four patients were infected with Legionaires, two of whom died.

As a result of raising these and many other safety concerns, Larry has been scapegoated and retaliated against, based on trumped up charges stemming from off-site union activities.



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