Sat. Jul 13th, 2024

Baltimore DPW failed to provide water or cooling to workers amid heatwave, report says

By meerna Jul11,2024
Baltimore DPW failed to provide water or cooling to workers amid heatwave, report says

BALTIMORE — A complaint filed with the Baltimore City Office of Inspector General alleges the Department of Public Works is failing to provide adequate water, ice and fans to DPW employees working on routes.

The complaint, filed June 5, says ice machines at the DPW plant at 701 Reedbird Avenue in Cherry Hill have been out of service for more than a year, and workers have to buy bags of ice daily.

The report released by the OIG details a June 6 site visit, when the office conducted a site visit to Cherry Hill and observed a broken ice machine located in an employee break room. During the visit, the OIG also discovered that the employee locker room did not have air conditioning or fans.

OIG also visited the recycling route with workers from the Cherry Hill Yard on June 14. During that visit, workers said they were not provided with water, ice or Gatorade at the start of their shift. The temperature at the time was 80 degrees, with a high expected in the 90s later in the day, according to the report. Workers also said the garbage truck did not have air conditioning.

Since the first reports, warnings have been issued for the region due to dangerous heat and humidity. This week two deaths caused by heat The report raised the number of heat-related deaths this year to six. The report noted a high of 95 degrees on Wednesday, with a wind chill of 103 degrees.

According to the OIG, the health and safety of DPW employees are at risk and the city may be violating OSHA regulations.

DPW responded to the report, outlining steps to address the issue.

DPW’s response to OIG case no. 24-0784-C

Baltimore Attorney General’s Office

WJZ has declared an Alert Day due to extreme heat and humidity Wednesday. Baltimore City issued an extreme heat warning until 8 p.m.

By meerna

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