Pelosi Calls for Report on Safety Issues

Posted July 14, 2010 at 3:42pm

Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday requested a report from the Architect of the Capitol on steps taken to abate safety hazards that, according to a recent study by the Office of Compliance, threaten the safety of employees in House office buildings.

The compliance study, released Tuesday, projected about 6,300 workplace hazards for the 111th Congress, including electrical, mechanical and fire safety issues.

While Pelosi applauded the drop from more than 13,000 from the 109th Congress due to “proactive programs initiated by Congressional offices which have identified and abated hazards,” the California Democrat asked Architect of the Capitol Stephen Ayers to submit a report by the end of this year detailing actions taken to reduce the remaining hazards.

“A large number of these remaining hazards will be addressed with the planned renovation of the Cannon House Office Building,” Pelosi wrote. “I am especially concerned that any that are determined to be serious safety risks be addressed without delay.”

The compliance report said that the House this session is projected to have no hazards that could result in death or permanent disability. But Pelosi asked that Ayers focus on particular lesser hazards that could result in permanent partial or temporary disability — a type of hazard still present in House buildings, according to the compliance study. Most of these are electrical, according to the report.

Of the Congressional office buildings, Rayburn leads with 381 projected hazards, followed by Longworth with 303 and Cannon with 277. Russell and Hart both have 102 projected hazards, while Dirksen has 29, according to the compliance study.

While the Senate office buildings have far fewer total hazards than House office buildings, the Office of Compliance projected nine potentially fatal hazards there.