WORKPLACE SAFETY

Federal Safety Agency Blasts Brooklyn Public Library for Asbestos Exposure

May 23, 2017 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE Justice has been served in a case of a Local 1482 Brooklyn Library Guild member exposed to asbestos at work. The incident occurred in November 2015, when the member — a custodian at the Eastern Parkway branch of the Brooklyn Library in Crown Heights — was cleaning up debris left by an outside contractor. The custodian was not informed the debris contained asbestos. As reported in the September 2016 issue of Public Employee Press, the union’s Safety and Health Dept. assisted the custodian. After an extensive inspection, the union filed a complaint with the U.S. Dept. of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), charging that management exposed workers to asbestos fibers and failed to test the employees for exposure and inform them of the hazardous situation at the library. The agency issued its report on May 10, 2016, finding the workers at the [More...]

Unions Gather to Pay Tribute to Workers Killed on the Job

April 28, 2017 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES City unions and workplace safety advocates paid tribute to workers who died on the job during a ceremony outside DC 37 headquarters on April 28. The Workers’ Memorial Day ceremony was dedicated to Emergency Medical Technician Yadira Arroyo, a Local 2507 member who was killed in the line of duty on March 16, when a man ran her over her as he tried to hijack her ambulance. “Today and every day, let us recommit to doing all we can to honor those we have lost at work and to advocate for policies designed to protect the health and well-being of all workers,” said Vincent Alvarez, president of the New York City Central Labor Council, a sponsor of the event. “Every person who is killed on the job or dies due to workplace illness leaves family and an entire community in mourning,” said Charlene Obernauer, executive director of New York City Occupational Safety and [More...]

Labor Gathers to Remember the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire

March 27, 2017 // 0 Comments

By BARBARA TERRELONGE Too often we suffer from historic amnesia, forgetting how we won the workplace protections we enjoy today. That’s why events like the commemoration of the 105th anniversary of the Triangle factory fire commemorated on March 24 are so important. At the same time, our remembrance of the fire is also a reminder that we continue to face workplace deaths — and that parallels exist between our challenges and those of workers more than 100 years ago. The Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire in 1911 was the worst industrial disaster in New York City. One hundred and forty six garment workers died in the fire. Most of the workers — 123  of the 146 who died in the blaze — were Jewish and Italian immigrant women. The fire was a scandal. The workers were trapped inside the building because the factory bosses kept the exit doors locked, supposedly to prevent theft. As a [More...]

New York City Mourns Slain EMS Worker

March 20, 2017 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO New Yorkers from all over the city are not only expressing their condolences to the family of Emergency Medical Technician Yadira Arroyo–who was tragically killed on a Bronx street when a man hijacked her ambulance–but they are also helping the five children the Local 2507 member left behind. “She was a great mentor, great friend and colleague,” said EMT Anastasia Roble, a coworker. Arroyo was killed on Thursday night, March 16, when a man hijacked her ambulance while she was on duty in the Soundview section of the Bronx and ran her over. Police arrested Jose Gonzalez, 25, of the Bronx, charging him with murder, grand larceny and operating a motor vehicle while impaired by drugs. Arroyo and her partner, EMT Monique Williams, confronted Gonzalez after a passerby signaled that he was riding on the back bumper of the ambulance. Arroyo, a 14-year [More...]

Training Health-Care Workers in Patient and Worker Safety

March 6, 2017 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE Members of locals 420 and 768 work hard in providing quality care at NYC Health+Hospitals facilities. Some of the tasks involved in making patients’ lives better under their care may seem mundane to outsiders, but their work makes a huge difference in patient care. It can also injure health-care workers providing these services. DC 37 members assist in daily routines to make hospital patients’ lives better, such as moving them from their beds to a chair, or helping patients in physical therapy. While these day-to-day routines for our city hospital workers is a normal practice in health-care settings, workers face risk of bodily injury. Many of these injuries are caused by repeated pressure on the back or knees — both can lead to chronic pain and long-term physical damage. Also, there is a risk of patient injury if staff cannot prevent a fall. Work injuries can end a [More...]