When a fatal fire erupted at the Verla cosmetic factory in New Windsor, N.Y. last November injuring eight firefighters, the company had already been cited for safety violations 19 times, including 13 “serious” violations – a safety record that local officials had limited knowledge of, according to an article from the Times Herald Record. U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer, in an effort to head off future tragedies, is urging the federal Occupational Health and Safety Administration to develop a system that would alert local officials to companies that have serious violations involving flammable and combustible materials.
According to the article, Schumer proposes a notification system exclusively for municipal leaders, fire departments, first responders and public utility administrators that would feature proactive alerts regarding offending plants, such as emails, and a simple, easily accessible database. In 2014, Schumer successfully led the charge to get the U.S. Transportation Department to adopt similar rules to allow state officials to easily identify the hazardous chemicals transported by trains.
Read the entire article here.