Sunday, March 27, 2011

When is it OSHA and when is it DOB?

You know things are bad out there when Staten Island writes to you...

"How much did Commissioner LiMandri spend on fliers, written in a multitude of languages, advising workers to wear safety harnesses? Check out how important this is to the Dept of Buildings - they don't even bother to send an inspector out! Turns out that unless someone falls ON THE SIDEWALK (which means it's not a building site-related incident?) the DoB can take as long as ten days to follow up on a complaint." - Jacob Riis

NYC Department of Buildings
Overview for Complaint #:5089668 = RESOLVED
Complaint at: 80 GRANITE AVENUE
BIN: 5026644
Borough: STATEN ISLAND
ZIP: 10303
Re: UNSAFE SITE, WORKERS NOT USING PROPER HARNESS, AND ALSOPASSING BEAMS, BY HAND IN SECOND STORY OF BUILDING (COMMERICAL BLDG)NEED AN INSPECTOR ASAP

Category Code: 91 SITE CONDITIONS ENDANGERING WORKERS
DOB District: N/A
Special District:
Assigned To: STATEN ISLAND BOROUGH OFFICE Priority: A

Received: 02/17/2011 09:02
Block: 1157 Lot: 31
Community Board: 501
Owner: MAYZEL, KLEMENT

Last Inspection:02/17/2011 - - BY BADGE # 0801 Disposition:02/17/2011 - I1 - COMPLAINT UNSUBSTANTIATED BASED ON DEPARTMENT RECORDS
Comments:OSHA JURISDICTION

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

It is neither of them until there is an accident or a fatality. They make up all these safety rules and do not enforce them. And if the worker complains of unsafe conditions, he will be fired.

Alfredo said...

So we are to understand that DOB will go over and not do anything if it is not their jurisdiction? Do they at least notify OSHA?

Why couldn't they issue a stop work order and shut down the site until OSHA inspects?

Or is that common sense?

Anonymous said...

People fear losing their jobs - many are working today as electricians, etc. under incredibly unsafe conditions.

Anonymous said...

in the past they were renovating a building here and we're all in attatched houses/row house/old houses. the vibrations of a jack hammer caused a small portion of the ceiling to come down,so i called 311 to file complaint and ask for assistance.
the 311 operator KNEW HER JOB and called an emergency inspector and AN AMERICAN MAN showed up, who also happened to be a supervisor,raised hell and shut it down.
He also said to call 911 if anyone enters the premises and i explained that there's no way i would call this precinct for THAT but this man simply said it is a legit 911 call and is to be made.
IF the situation seems dangerous to both workers and passers by I'd call 911 and I've never abused this system but what's been described seems beyond waiting for a bs inspector to arrive and state that nothing's wrong here.


Alfredo ? if the DOB sez there's nothing wrong/unsubstantiated complaints--they're not going to shut it down.

Anonymous said...

Alfredo ? if the DOB sez there's nothing wrong/unsubstantiated complaints--they're not going to shut it down.


From what the DOB report stated Comments:OSHA JURISDICTION.

Did they see something that was dangerous or did they just comment on type of complaint. If they commented on type of complaint, why did they go to site and not steer caller to correct agency? Seems to me that they witnessed something unsafe.

It is not adding up to me.

illustrious wombat said...

OSHA deals with EMPLOYEE safety, DOB deals with PUBLIC safety-- were the complaint worded as to promote the possibility of public injury, then DOB would have the jurisdiction to act-- unfortunately, there are very few OSHA inspectors, and while they investigate all complaints, doing so in a timely fashion is damn near impossible-- unless there is injury or fatality, there just aren't enough inspectors to get to the sites quickly

Anonymous said...

I agree and understand that. However if DOB sees something that is an Employee safety issue, then they should have the authority to close site until OSHA gets to it.

Alfredo

Anonymous said...

The Building Code covers WORK SITE safety - which includes workers. BTW, aren't "workers" also part of the public?

And, as this points out, the DoB has spent a small fortune on their "If you fall they fall" campaign to promote safety harnesses.

Seems this is a case of the inspector/Department deciding not to enforce - after all, doesn't Staten Island operate on the "whose cousin are you?" principle of enforcement?