One of our members recently noticed that the gas and electric company was working outside of his house. When they were finished working our member noticed a new addition to the equipment that was on the power pole where the work had been done. He believed that it looked to be a concealed camera. It looked to be something that one may see in a store or outside a store. It just happens that this letter carrier is out of work on a workers’ compensation claim. The letter carrier called the gas and electric company and questioned as to what was on the power pole. The gas and electric company sent someone out to talk to the letter carrier. He was informed that it was a device from a government agency. He was also told that the power company does not know what it is for. The power company workers simply receive a work order to install such devices. On further questioning, the representative of the power company told the letter carrier that the device did house a camera.

This seems to be part of the problem of our society. It appears that with not even a reasonable amount of evidence of wrong doing, our citizens are prone to covert video surveillance. This appears to be happening simply because an employee is injured on the job. What is lacking in this story is that this employee had endured his first spine surgery due to an on the job back injury. Upon return to work supervisors pushed him to work beyond his restrictions in doing work that he was not supposed to be doing. When he injured his back a second time, he needed more extensive surgery. The second surgery required fusion of vertebrae. The carrier has permanent residual disability from the injury, which would require restrictions at work. This is the second time that this carrier has been on video. We understand from his conversations with case workers at OWCP, OIG agents had previously videotaped him while out walking his Jack Russell terrier, which happened to be within the employee’s restrictions.

Don’t become a victim of a society that now suspects its members and goes after them as if it is a criminal act to be injured on the job. If you are injured on the job, remember don’t do anything while off work that would violate your restrictions. Remember that just because you think you are doing things that are within your restrictions, a video tape may tell a different tale, so be conservative in your assessment of your restrictions. What is so unjust is that it is not only the injured worker who is under surveillance, it is his entire family. The house and yard are in view of this camera. The entire family is negatively affected by this type of activity. This is simply because an employee is injured on the job. It can happen to you, so be safe. Big brother is watching.

Courtesy of 651 News Break

Annapolis, Maryland