In nearly a decade of working in the oil and gas industry, one major principle of safety that has been drilled into me is, and I quote, “you have the right and responsibility to stop unsafe work.”
This statement is also known by the phrase “Stop Work Authority,” or SWA for short, and is derived from section 5 of the OSH Act of 1970, which states in part A that each employer, “(1) shall furnish to each of his employees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees; (2) shall comply with occupational safety and health standards promulgated under this Act.”
Similarly, in part B of the same it is written that “Each employee shall comply with occupational safety and health standards and all rules, regulations, and orders issued pursuant to this Act which are applicable to his own actions and conduct.”
As I see it, SWA therefore gives me the right to decline the COVID vaccine. Furthermore, it is also my contention that threats of disciplinary action and coercion for refusal of the COVID vaccine constitute a grave violation of section 5 of the OSH Act of 1970 and must not be tolerated or accommodated much less complied with.
Hazard Identification and Mitigation
Doubtless those who are in favor of the vaccine mandate will counter that the health and safety of employees is precisely the reason for the vaccine mandates. Employers have a responsibility under the very same section of US Code I referenced above to threaten and punish employees, up to and including termination, for noncompliance when lack of vaccination puts their coworkers and the public at grave risk.
But this really does get to the heart of the issue with the COVID vaccines. For one thing, the lack of confidence in the efficacy of the vaccine to protect the vaccinated from those who are unvaccinated is not a selling point. If the vaccine is not even protecting you from me, then why are we going to be better off if both of us have the vaccine? Think about it.
More to the point, though, however quickly the follow-up claim will swoop in that the vaccine lessens the severity of COVID for many people, still further decreasing the mortality rate, no one can truthfully claim the COVID vaccine is free from hazard. And given the fact that there are recognized hazards inherent to COVID vaccination, who can show me the mitigation for those risks of injury or even death related to the COVID vaccine?
In a purely materialistic and biological sense, this really comes down to the cost-benefit analysis. Is the supposed protection which the vaccine affords worth the reported additional risks, and more besides which we do not yet know?
Liability for Damages
We need to know where liability lies in the event of vaccine injury or death when employers participate in mandating the COVID vaccine per President Biden’s order. The hazards identified have not been mitigated. They have barely been acknowledged and admitted, often dismissed or censored as “misinformation.” And for all we know, there is no mitigation for hazards unique to tampering with RNA except to not do it.
But suppose you are compelled on pain of job loss to get this vaccine and then are injured or die because of complications related to the vaccine. Can you or your family file a lawsuit to recover damages? And if so, who can you file suit against?
Not the vaccine manufacturers or distributors. That is out.
What about your employer?
Or what about the U.S. government?
Or what about Joe Biden personally?
My point in this line of question is not to figure out who to file a lawsuit against. My point is that coercing employees to get the COVID vaccine or else face retaliation up to and including job loss represents a violation of 29 USC 654, section 5 of the OSH Act of 1970, also known as Stop Work Authority. And the same instruments which motivate compliance with that part of U.S. legal code for other safety matters ought to be brought to bear with regards to the COVID vaccine as well.
Remember, “you have the right and responsibility to stop unsafe work.”
Just say ‘No.’
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