Assemblywoman Sandy Galef and Senator Nick Spano Announce Legislation to Increase Sanitation Truck Safety for Sanitation Workers

Assemblywoman Galef Thanks the Rodrigues for their Advocacy Efforts
April 27, 2006

Assemblywoman Sandy Galef announced legislation to increase sanitation truck worker safety in Westchester County and New York State today in front of the Resco Energy Plant near Charles Point Park in Peekskill, New York. Senator Nick Spano joined Assemblwoman Galef as the Senate Sponsor. They were joined by Westchester County Executive Andy Spano, Mr. and Mrs. Rodrigues, county legislators, and several municipal leaders.

Assemblwoman Galef and Senator Spano have introduced two pieces of legislation mandating that municipal sanitation trucks be equipped with rearview surveillance cameras and that those working on the trucks wear protective helmets. A10046/S6803 covers all municipalities in New York State while A10528/S7174 covers all municipalities in Westchester County. Westchester County Executive Andy Spano has called for the installation of such cameras on Westchester County trucks and has made protective helmets available to workers if they choose to wear them.

“Hard hats and helmets are currently required on construction sites, by Con Edison employees, children and adults in New York State who ride a bicycle, motorcyclists, by those working in sewers; in tree removal industry, white-water rafting, and are used by firefighters, when mountain climbers, parachuters, speed racers, skiers, ice skaters, and many in other sports and recreational activities”, said Assemblywoman Sandy Galef. “It seems obvious to me that those who work on sanitation trucks are in just as dangerous and precarious situations and should be afforded the same safety precautions. I thank the Rodrigues for having the courage and persistence to fight for the safety of all sanitation workers despite the tragedy of their son’s death.”

In July of 2005, John-Paul Rodrigues, a twenty-four year old sanitation worker, fell from his riding position at the rear of a sanitation truck, struck his head on the road, and died. His is not the only sanitation worker fatality in Westchester County. Sanitation workers have died in the performance of their duties in the village of Tarrytown, town of Mamaroneck, and town of Cortlandt.

Mr. and Mrs. Rodrigues have been advocating for improved sanitation truck safety for truck workers since their son died in a fall off a sanitation truck while working for the Village of Ossining in July of 2005. "My husband and I would like to thank County Executive Andy Spano for taking the lead and improving the workplace for County employees, and also Assemblywoman Sandy Galef and Senator Nick Spano for introducing these Bills. The measures our elected officials have taken have made me extremely happy. I am determined the death of my son John-Paul, in a work-related accident last July, will promote safety measures for other similarly situated employees. Workplace safety must be everyone’s concern."