The Q at Parkside

(for those for whom the Parkside Q is their hometrain)

News and Nonsense from the Brooklyn neighborhood of Lefferts and environs, or more specifically a neighborhood once known as Melrose Park. Sometimes called Lefferts Gardens. Or Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. Or PLG. Or North Flatbush. Or Caledonia (west of Ocean). Or West Pigtown. Across From Park Slope. Under Crown Heights. Near Drummer's Grove. The Side of the Park With the McDonalds. Jackie Robinson Town. Home of Lefferts Manor. West Wingate. Near Kings County Hospital. Or if you're coming from the airport in taxi, maybe just Flatbush is best.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Safety First

It's all gone now of course

'Member when they were taking down those three cute houses at 50 Clarkson piece by piece? A number of us watched as some Latino workers climbed aboard the second and third floors, doing demolition the way a teenager might. Some of the guys weren't even wearing helmets. In this day and age, it seemed downright primitive. A few folks on the block called 311 to report unsafe conditions, and the Q is glad to report that a whistle blowing from someone or ten resulted in a judgment by OSHA against the developer.

From The Daily Eagle:

The Brooklyn Daily Eagle has learned that workers demolishing a three-unit, three-story residential building in Brooklyn’s Prospect-Lefferts Gardens section were exposed to potentially fatal falls due to their employer’s failure to provide and ensure the use of lifesaving fall protection. 

As a result, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed $45,200 in penalties against Brooklyn contractor US Demco of Brooklyn Inc. for one willful and seven serious violations of workplace safety standards.

“Falls remain the leading cause of death in construction work,” said Kay Gee, OSHA’s area director for Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens. “Yet, on at least two occasions, an OSHA inspector discovered US Demco employees working on the second- and third-floor levels without fall protection, even though US Demco had knowledge of this deadly and avoidable hazard.” 

OSHA’s inspection identified other fall hazards at the 50-54 Clarkson Ave. location, including missing guardrails for planking used by the employees to access different sections of the second- and third-floor levels, and the failure of a competent person — one with the knowledge and authority to identify and correct fall hazards — to oversee the work. Employees faced dangers of lacerations and broken bones from being struck by falling construction materials and debris and electric burns and shock from handling ungrounded power tools. 

OSHA cited US Demco for one willful violation for the lack of fall protection and seven serious violations for the remaining hazards. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law’s requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.  

US Demco of Brooklyn has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.


Unknown said...

Nice blog. Health and safety is the responsibility of both employer and employee. The Employer must provide a safe working environment for their employees, carrying out risk assessments and providing safety measures and precautions and giving employees procedures to follow.

Health and Safety Training

Barton Wilson said...

With all the stuff you described, one can only concur. Workers' safety should not be taken for granted by companies. For one, their well-being says a lot about the level of management and leadership within the company. Now, if the companies cannot guarantee a basic of their laborers' safety, then how more will they be able to deal with other organizational and/or entrepreneural ventures? It's their brand name that is going to suffer, so that is of utmost importance. Thanks for sharing!

Barton Wilson @ ISA Registrar