Tapped In: Notes From the Neighborhood

| 02 Mar 2015 | 04:48

OSHA FINDS VIOLATIONS IN SECOND AVE. SUBWAY Last week, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued several serious violations and fines to SSK, the company contracted to dig the Second Avenue Subway tunnels. The agency found that workers in the tunnel were not properly tested and fitted for the masks and respirators they were wearing, which brought fines of $4,250. A separate fine was issued for another $4,250 for exposing workers to three times the allowable levels of silica dust, which, according to OSHA, is a "human lung carcinogen." High levels of exposure can lead to serious lung conditions. Silica is contained in the shotcrete that workers spray on the tunnel walls and is commonly found in construction and blasting sites, but SSK is now required to abate the levels to meet OSHA standards or face more fines. CHALLENGER PUSHES REFORM Cynical pols deliver conventional wisdom that voters don't care about redistricting, but don't tell that to New York City Council candidate Benjamin Kallos, reports City and State. The East Side aspirant for Council Member Jessica Lappin's seat is holding a fundraiser next month featuring Mark Favors, the lead plaintiff in the Favors v. Cuomo lawsuit challenging the state's method of drawing new districting lines. It's a natural issue for Kallos, executive director of Bill Samuels' New Roosevelt Initiative, though he acknowledged it's an unusual draw for an event with a top ticket price of $1,000. Kallos said he's trying to run "a substantive campaign about the issues that not only affect the district but the city as a whole." CITY PLANS BETTER WATERFRONT ACCESS New York City wants to make more space for boats along its waterfront-everything from kayaks to ferries to historic tall ships-which is good news for the East Side. City and State reports that a new plan put out for public review earlier this week would open the city's 520 miles of waterfront for expanded ferry service, with new piers designed to handle other vessels from small to large that would draw more New Yorkers to riverbanks and shorelines. "The city will change the way that it evaluates and measures waterfront projects," said City Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden, who said the new rules would establish 10 policies that proposed waterfront developments have to comply with.