WEST ALEXANDRIA — A letter from the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Division of Safety and Hygiene alleges health and safety violations by staff members of the Village of West Alexandria Fire Department.
The letter, dated Jan. 26, was provided to The Register-Herald on condition of anonymity.
The letter states that “one or more employees” of the fire department have alleged hazardous working conditions, including employees operating an aerial lift mechanism without adequate training or appropriate fall protection, as well as using grinders and cut saws without being provided with appropriate eye and hearing protection.
Ohio law states that “personal protective equipment (PPE) for eyes, face, head, and extremities, protective clothing, respiratory devices, and protective shields and barriers shall be provided, used, and maintained in a sanitary and reliable condition wherever necessary,” the letter further reads.
It also states that it is the responsibility of the employer to “assess the workplace to determine if hazards are present, or are likely to be present, which necessitate the use of PPE.”
The village must submit a response “fully address[ing] the alleged violations, as well as any applicable corrective action” within 30 days of receipt of the letter, including documentation in the form of written policies, procedures, notices or statements to employees, training syllabi, photographs, safety committee minutes, investigation reports and employee interviews. Failure to do so will result in an inspection.
At time of press, Mayor Jeff Hickey and Fire Chief John Glander did not respond to a request for comment on the letter or on any corrective action the village plans to take.
Glander, who has been a member of the West Alexandria Fire Department for 28 years, was sworn in as Chief in July of last year following the controversial firing of former chief Jeff Shafer due to alleged ethics violations.
Reach Anthony Baker at 937-683-4057 or on Facebook @mproperenglish