Halliburton accused of workplace safety violations in Angola
26 Oct. 2009
WASHINGTON, Oct. 26 (HalliburtonWatch.org) - A radiation safety officer employed by Halliburton in Africa is accusing the company of “serious breaches” in workplace safety that killed and injured people. Manuel Diogo Benedito is Halliburton's Material Control Supervisor and Local Radiation Safety Officer in Angola where, he says, he was contaminated by Cobalt 60 and Cesium-137. “I was in direct contact with theses things without any protection,” he told HalliburtonWatch by email. Diogo worked in highly toxic areas wearing only his clothes, gloves and boots and now he suffers acute radiation sickness and sudden bleeding attacks. A lawsuit is pending. ###
“Halliburton Management always neglects training and safety guidelines,” Diogo alleges. He also faults the company for failing to issue devices for measuring dangerous radiation levels.
Diogo also informed HalliburtonWatch that the company improperly dumped trash containing toxic levels of sodium bromide. The contamination, he says, killed 50 people in the Luanda, Angola suburb of Cacuaco.
Halliburton offered Diogo $320,000 to withdraw his lawsuit alleging murder and a range of toxic tort offenses, but he turned down the offer because, he insists, “Angola is not Nigeria,” a reference to the company's other corrupt African venture. It recently paid $177 million to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to settle claims that a subsidiary bribed Nigerian government officials to win construction contracts. Diogo refers to the company's $320,000 settlement offer as a "bribe" as well.
For its part, Halliburton denies the allegations. A spokeswoman said "Halliburton has refuted the allegations raised by this former employee following his termination from the Company and intends to defend itself vigorously in any proceedings that may result from these claims; however, with litigation pending if would be inappropriate to comment further at this time."
While the company refers to Diogo as a "former employee," Diogo counters that Angola law makes it illegal to fire him. As such, he refers to himself as a "current" employee.
“These pictures are only a small glimps compared to the damage they have already done to my country and my people.” – Manuel Diogo Benedito
For more information, contact Manuel Diogo Benedito at [email protected]