Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) today requested more information from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regarding the agency's efforts to protect the health of cleanup workers at BP oil spill sites. In her letter to OSHA Assistant Secretary David Michaels, a full copy of which follows, Rep. Maloney asks what the agency is doing to make sure that cleanup workers are using respirators and other protective gear, particularly in hot and humid weather; whether OSHA's team of 25 safety inspectors is sufficient to cover the entire oil spill area; and whether the agency has set up a "1-800" number or other mechanism for workers to report safety concerns.
"Thousands lost their health in the 9/11 cleanup, and we must make sure history doesn't repeat itself in the Gulf," Maloney said. "I appreciate the work that OSHA and its partners are doing to address this unprecedented challenge. The health and safety of the people helping to clean and rebuild the Gulf must not be compromised in the recovery from this disaster. The safety needs of cleanup crews at Ground Zero were neglected, with terrible consequences. We cannot overlook the importance of safety precautions again."