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NYS Labor Dept. cites Babylon Village for more than a dozen new safety violations

Babylon Village Municipal Hall, in Babylon on Aug.

Babylon Village Municipal Hall, in Babylon on Aug. 17, 2011. Photo Credit: T.C. McCarthy

Babylon Village has again been cited for 14 state Department of Labor health and safety violations, three weeks after being cited for 14 other infractions.

The Sept. 4 and Sept. 25 reports found staff in the village highway department hadn’t been trained and were exposed to hazardous work conditions.

Both reports obtained by Newsday stated the violations stemmed from an April 25 Department of Labor inspection, which came after the Civil Service Employees Association filed complaints on behalf of union workers.

“One day of exposure to unsafe working conditions is one day too many, and our members have been subjected to workplace hazards for years,” CSEA spokeswoman Wendi Bowie said. “The village needs to fix all violations and comply with state health and safety laws immediately before someone is seriously injured or dies on the job.”

Two violations in the new Sept. 25 report were repeats of a September 2016 Labor Department report. Staff is untrained, exposing them “to serious bodily injuries or death” from improperly repairing sanitation trucks and risking electrocution from a circuit breaker panel, the report said.

The 12 other violations included a sanitation truck not having a working seatbelt, protective equipment including helmets and eyewear not being provided, heavy truck operators going untrained, and a tool sharpener missing a required guard, leaving room for injury, the report said.

Portable jacks weren’t marked with the load rating, the report said.

“Employees are exposed to broken bones, crushing injuries or death from the hazard of being struck by or caught in between vehicles and equipment,” the report said.

One violation stemmed from unapproved plastic cans being used to store gasoline, risking serious burns and inhalation injuries to workers from the flammable liquid.

A power cord had a tear, exposing wires and risking electric shock to the user, the report said, and the village didn’t provide annual training for employees on workplace violence.

Mayor Ralph Scordino said on Sept. 5 that about half the violations were rectified and that “all the training will be done within a month.”

Asked Thursday about the Sept. 25 violations, he said, “I don’t understand what the importance is. . . . I don’t want to talk about this.”

Scordino said training has begun but wouldn’t say whether all the required training would be completed within the month. He also said the village rectified all violations that have a September due date.

“We’re satisfying all the Labor Department’s deadlines,” the mayor said.

The village has until Oct. 7 to correct three of the violations; until Oct. 15 to remedy four; until Oct. 22 to fix three; until Nov. 14 to remedy one; and until Dec. 6 to correct the remaining two, the report said. The circuit breaker was fixed during inspection.

The village is subject to a daily fine up to $200 per violation after the abatement date.

Labor Department officials did not respond to requests for more information, including how much the village was fined for the 2016 violations. Scordino said he didn't remember whether the village paid any fines.

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