In addition to their boards and managing agents, co-op and condo communities depend on the many workers who take care of building maintenance and residents’ needs. Building staff, maintenance workers, the super, and other employees are all essential to maintaining a well-run building. At the same time, these workers have the right to do their jobs in a safe environment, in a building that abides by local, state and federal laws. With that in mind, boards and managing agents must stay abreast of all relevant rules and regulations to ensure a safe working environment for their staff members.
OSHA and the Union
The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) is the primary agency charged with creating regulations, setting standards and enforcing compliance when it comes to worker safety.
“The primary [worker safety] statues are OSHA regulations,” says Matthew Persanis, a partner with Elefante & Persanis, LLP, a labor, employment and real estate law firm in Scarsdale who is also labor counsel to the Building Realty Institute and many other employer associations. “If a building complies with OSHA regulations, they are complying with what they need to.”
According to the OSHA website (www.osha.gov), “OSHA creates and enforces regulatory standards that require certain precautions to be taken in order to ensure the safety and health of workers.” The tasks maintenance workers perform are covered by several of these standards. More information regarding these standards as well as other assistance can be found on OSHA’s website, including a wealth of pages on a wide array of safety and health topics pages with free information to show employers and employees how to stay safe and healthy on the job.
“It’s also important to note that OSHA offers free, confidential onsite safety and health consultation services,” says an OSHA spokesperson. More information is available at www.osha. gov/dcsp/smallbusiness/consult.html