Unsafe Working Conditions: Flatbush Gardens Complex Fined $52,100

Federal agents have found that an East Flatbush slumlord has been exposing maintenance workers to pools of raw sewage, asbestos and other dangerous conditions. The owners of the apartment complex, which consists of 59 buildings, were handed 20 violations and will be fined up to $51,100 by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (known as OSHA). Employees have since been locked out of the complex since November when they refused to accept a 30% pay cut.  The employees complained, however, to fed agents about working conditions last year.  As a result of the complaints, OSHA inspectors found basements flooded with raw sewage that workers had to wade through without any protective equipment. They also found that workers had to strip lead paint and dry wall using toxic chemicals without proper training.   Furthermore, there were dangling electric wires, holes in the floor, and employees were never warned that pipes at the complex were full of asbestos.  Full article: http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/brooklyn/2011/04/20/2011-04-20_owners_of_flatbush_gardens_complex_fined_51g_for_workers_exposure_to_raw_sewage_.html

The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSH Act) has two regulatory functions: setting standards and conducting inspections to ensure that employers are providing safe and healthful workplaces. OSHA standards may require that employers adopt certain practices, means, methods, or processes reasonably necessary and appropriate to protect workers on the job. Employers must become familiar with the standards applicable to their establishments and eliminate hazards.  The Act encourages states to develop and operate their own job safety and health programs. OSHA approves and monitors these “state plans,” which operate under the authority of state law. There are currently 27 OSHA State Plan States, of which 22 states and jurisdictions operate complete state plans (covering both the private sector and state and local government employees) and four (Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, and the Virgin Islands) that cover state and local government employees only. See: http://www.dol.gov/compliance/guide/osha.htm#who

The attorneys at Leeds Morelli & Brown, PC, are devoted to helping clients who have been injured by untrained employees or injured by the failure of employers to put strict safety standards in place for their employees to follow. If you or someone you know has been faced with such an issue, please contact Leeds Morelli & Brown, PC at 1-888-585-4658.