Labor and Public Employees Committee

JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT

Bill No.:

HB-6404

Title:

AN ACT CONCERNING THE OPERATION OF HYDRAULIC LOADING OR UNLOADING EQUIPMENT AT CERTAIN SOLID WASTE FACILITIES.

Vote Date:

3/1/2007

Vote Action:

JF to GAE

PH Date:

2/20/2007

File No.:

SPONSORS OF BILL:

Rep. Mary M. Mushinsky, 85th Dist.

REASONS FOR BILL:

This bill requires that each owner or operator of a solid waste, recycling or resources recovery facility (as defined CGS Sec. 22a-207) have at least two employees of the facility in the work area when solid waste is being moved with hydraulic loading or unloading equipment. The employees must be familiar with such equipment being operated.

RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:

None given.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:

Rep. Mary M. Mushinsky, 85th Dist.

She states that this bill was prompted by the death in May 2006 of Robert Gootkin, 15 year employee of CRRA's Covanta waste-to-energy plant in Wallingford. Mr. Gootkin was accidentally crushed by a hydraulic energy device used in the loading/unloading process; he was pinned against the wall, and later found dead. A non-working camera is no substitute for a second worker who might have witnessed the accident.

She believes two persons rather than one should be required around hydraulic loading/unloading equipment and that the two workers be located in the same area. It is better to protect the workers, even if it means an increase in waste handling fees

David Gootkin, Madison

Mr. Gootkin's brother, Robert Gootkin, died when crushed by a hydraulic press. His death could have been prevented. He had been working a twelve-hour overnight shift by himself. It took facility personnel thirty minutes to respond to the alarms that went of at the time of the accident. The security cameras in the room were out of service at the time of the accident.

David Gootkin himself worked at the plant from 1989 to 1999, so he can personally attest to the lack of safety concerns at the facility. He does not feel that employees received proper training, and therefore exposed themselves to undue risks routinely. If another employee had been there to witness the accident, the worker could have shut off the machine or gotten help. An employee should not be allowed to work alone.

Lori J. Pelletier, Secretary-Treasurer, CONNECTICUT AFL-CIO

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:

None given.

Reported by: Pat Izzo

Date: 3/5/2007