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Accidents on the Job in Texas: 1965 Austin Leo Simpson and D. S. Nobley, two painters who were working on the outside of the chamber of commerce building in Houston, fell seven stories to their deaths when the hoist they were on collapsed. A secretary said, “I was looking out the window of my office and saw the men flying through the air. They were right together. It was horrible. I saw them hit.”‘ W. C. McAree, a 19-year-old construction worker from Garland, near Dallas, was riding an open construction elevator with a steel door frame for the 29th floor of a 30-story building he was helping build when, according to the elevator operator, the operator felt the elevator cable go limp. The youth’s body was recovered in the bottom of the elevator shaft. 2 M. C. Emmon, 47-year-old steelworker, husband, and father, fell about 20 feet from the top of a building under construction onto a bricklayer’s scaffold at the Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston and died of a broken neck and other injuries. 3 Jose Sandoval, 56, was helping place an “I” beam on a bridge construction site in Dallas when the beam slipped and knocked him off balance; he fell to his death. 4 James Meredith, 28, and W. G. Mornes, 29, were guiding “I” beams into place for a new section of a freeway in Dallas when the crane derrick came into contact with a high-voltage power line overhead. The crane operator said, “I saw sparks coming down the boom. I dropped the boom and they fell off the beams to the ground.” Meredith was electrocuted, and Mornes was hurt. 5 In Houston, when Moses Lee, 54, fell into a gravel pit he was keeping filled with loose gravel, he was carried by a conveyor belt to his death in a pulverizing machine. 6 Sam Shaw, 59, of Austin, was killed, and James Johnson, 18, of Georgetown, was seriously hurt at the Texas Crushed Stone Co.’s quarry near Georgetown. Apparently they were moving loose stone near the entrance of a hole in the ground when a stone ledge above them broke and fe11. 7 At 7:25 one morning, an explosion felt 25 miles away made a shambles of the Spencer Chemical Co. in Orange, and flames shot 150 feet high. A line had ruptured, freeing ethylene gas, and Carroll Lee Carr, 29, and Clyde W. Matthews, Jr., 31, were running to a shutoff valve when the place exploded. Carr died under the rubble, and Matthews, dug out from under it, died later at the hospital; others were injured. Three hours after this explosion, there were five rapid-fire explosions in the nitrogen division of the Allied Chemical Corp. plant in Orange, and four men were hurt, none seriously. 8 2 The Texas Observer In Houston, on the ship channel, an explosion at the Phillips Petroleum Co. anhydrous ammonia plant killed James W. Campbell of Liberty, a mechanic and the father of seven, and injured four other workers. 9 An explosion near a Brown & Root, Inc., barge of Red Fish Reef in Galveston Bay, apparently caused when a barge cable cut a gas pipeline, killed Wilford Fontenot of Stowell and injured four other crewmen on the barge.’ Twelve miles southeast of Kermit, Robert Dulop, 32, of Odessa, and two other Odessa workers were preparing to lower an oil well perforating gun into a well of the Gulf Oil Corp. when it fired prematurely. Dulop was killed and the other two men were injured. 11 A line-crew foreman for Houston Lighting & Power Co., Troy 0. Taylor, 59, of Jones Creek, was seriously injured in Freeport when an electrical wire he was stringing slipped and he was thrown against a power pole. 12 Waymon Huff, 56, was crushed to death in Fort Worth when a Texas & Pacific diesel engine sideswiped an engine he was working on’ 3 These are some of the on-the-job accidents that have been reported in the daily press in Texas during the last eighteen Incorporating the State Observer and the East Texas Democrat, which in turn incorporated the State Week and Austin ForumAdvocate. We will serve no group or party but will hew hard to the truth as we find it and the right as we see it. We are dedicated to the whole truth, to human values above all interests, to the rights of man as the foundation of democracy; we will take orders from none but our own conscience, and never will we overlook or misrepresent the truth to serve the interests of the powerful or cater to the ignoble in the human spirit. Editor and General Manager, Ronnie Dugger. Partner, Mrs. R. D. Randolph. Business Manager, Sarah Payne. Contributing Editors, Elroy Bode, Bill Brammer, Larry Goodwyn, Franklin Jones, Lyman Jones, Larry L. King, Georgia Earnest Klipple, Willie Morris, James Presley, Charles Ramsdell, Roger Shattuck, Dan Strawn, Tom Sutherland, Charles Alan Wright. Staff Artist, Charles Erickson. Contributing Photographer, Russell Lee. Subscription Representatives: Austin, Mrs. Helen C. Spear, 2615 Pecos, HO 5-1805; Dallas, Mrs. Cordye Hall, 5835 Ellsworth, TA 1-1205; El Paso, Mrs. Jeanette Harris, 5158 Garry Owen Rd., LO 5-3448; Houston, Mrs. Shirley Jay, 10306 Cliffwood Dr., PA 3-8682; Lubbock, Doris Blaisdell, 2515 24th St.; Midland, Eva Dennis, 4306 Douglas, OX 4-2825; Odessa. Enid Turner, 1706 Glenwood, EM 6-2269; Rio Grande Valley, Mrs. Jack Butler, 601 Houston, McAllen, MU 6-5675; San Antonio, Mrs. Mae B. Tuggle, 531 Elmhurst, TA 6-3583; Tyler. Mrs. Erik Thomsen, months and clipped and filed by the Observer. 14 REP. CHARLES HUGHES of Sherman first began trying to persuade the legislature to pass an industrial safety law in the early 1950’s. The Observer discussed this with the former representative this week by long distance to Sherman. His first legislation, he recalled, would have created a rule-making board and provided criminal penalties for violations, fines of $100 a day; although an alternate jail term was provided, “we didn’t anticipate anyone would go to jail” under the law, he said. Gov. Allan Shivers always opposed the legislation, and so did the Texas Manufacturers’ Assn., but Gov. Price Daniel included it in his program in 1957, Hughes recalled. “Each year I seemed to do a little better with it,” Hughes said. Hughes’ bill passed the House in 1957 with some revisions, “but they stopped it dead in the Senate.” In 1958 the legislature’s industrial and occupational safety study commission reported that more than 400,000 medical cases result annually from hazardous and unhealthy working conditions in Texas, and 31182 .Lynwood, LY 4-4862; Cambridge. Mass., Victor Emanuel, 33 Aberdeen Ave., Apt. 3A. The editor has exclusive control over the editorial policies and contents of the Observer. None of the other people who are associated with the enterprise shares this responsibility with him. Writers are responsible for their own work, but not for anything they have not themselves written, and in publishing them the editor does not necessarily imply that he agrees with them, because this is a .journal of free voices. The Observer publishes articles, essays, and creative work of the shorter forms having to do in various ways with this area. The pay depends; at present is is token. Unsolicited manuscripts must be accompanied by return postage. Unsigned articles are the editor’s. During the current legislative session, unsigned legislative stories may sometimes embody or be the reportage of Capitol reporters who cover some events for the Observer. The Observer is published by Texas Observer Co., Ltd., biweekly from Austin, Texas. Entered as second-class matter April 26, 1937, at the Post Office at Austin, Texas, under the Act of March 3, 1879. Second class postage paid at Austin, Texas. Delivered postage prepaid $5.00 a year; two years, $9.50; three years, $13.00. Foreign rates on request. Single copies 25c; prices for ten or more for students. or bulk orders, on request. Editorial and Business Offices: The Texas Observer, 504 West 24th St., Austin 5. Texas. Telephone GR 7-0746. Change of Address: Please give old and new address and allow three weeks. THE TEXAS OBSERVER A Journal of Free Voices A Window to the South 59th YEAR ESTABLISHED 1906 Vol. 57, No. 7 7e 4SW’ April 2, 1965