June 13, 2007 6:31 AM
Most Flats workers denied medical help
Former atomic bomb makers with cancer were crushed and tearful when the board denied the majority of them immediate medical care and compensation. They say they are dying because they put their lives on the line for America at the now-demolished nuclear weapons plant outside Denver.
"How many more workers have to die?" asked Terry Bonds, district director for the United Steelworkers Union, which filed the petition.
But the board did accept the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health's assurance that it can estimate workers' radiation contamination, well enough to prove - or disprove - that it caused their cancers. Workers say many exposures went unrecorded so managers could earn bonuses instead of fines. As a result, they say, the dose estimates are wrong.
"It is an outrage that six of the advisory board members decided to believe the faulty, insufficient and incomplete data that NIOSH uncovered over workers' experiences of what actually happened at that plant," Bonds said.