District Council 37
(212) 815-7555
DC 37    |   PUBLIC EMPLOYEE PRESS    |   ABOUT    |   ORGANIZING    |   NEWSROOM    |   BENEFITS    |   SERVICES    |   CONTRACTS    |   POLITICS    |   CONTACT US    |   SEARCH   |   
  Public Employee Press

PEP Feb 2004
Table of Contents
  La Voz

Public Employee Press

PESH inspections

OSHA, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, has jurisdiction over private sector workers — including employees at city cultural institutions such as museums and zoos — but not over government workers.

The Public Employee Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1980 extended the same safety and health standards that OSHA uses to public sector workers in New York State.

The PESH Bureau of the state Labor Dept. is responsible for enforcing OSHA standards at state and city worksites. A PESH worksite inspection can result from an accident, a complaint from workers or their union, or a regular inspection program. Employers must notify PESH immediately if there is a death on the job or several workers injured in the same incident.

Inspectors who find violations of PESH/OSHA standards issue a Notice of Violation and Order to Comply. The notice describes the violations, rates each violation (serious, non-serious, willful or repeat) and orders the employer to correct the problem by a specific date. If the employer fails to correct the violation in time, PESH can levy penalties of $50-$200 per day per violation.

Both the employer and employees (or their union) can appeal the findings of the PESH inspector and further appeals are possible.

Ask the pros
Bringing PESH in to inspect a worksite can be slow and complicated. For example, standards on poor air quality in an office are extremely limited. If PESH finds no violation of its standards, the employer will often say that PESH found no problem and therefore everything is fine. In this case, it would be better to use the union contract to enforce healthier working conditions.

Staff at the DC 37 Safety and Health Dept. are experienced in dealing with PESH and are available to inspect worksites and prepare PESH complaints for DC 37 locals.

If you believe your workplace needs a PESH inspection, contact your DC 37 rep, who can work with the union’s Safety and Health Dept. to arrange for an inspection.

© District Council 37, AFSCME, AFL-CIO | 125 Barclay Street, New York, NY 10007 | Privacy Policy | Sitemap