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OSHA probes trash man’s DUMBO tragedy

The facility of Chambers Paper Fibres in DUMBO. Flickr image by Curtis Cronn

Brooklyn Daily Eagle

The U.S. Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has opened an investigation of Saturday morning’s tragic accident involving a young worker at a private garbage firm in DUMBO.

On that day, police from Downtown Brooklyn’s 84th Precinct responded to 136 Plymouth St., where 18-year-old Bronx resident
Luis Caraballo, an employee of Chambers Paper Fibres Corp., was apparently standing too close to his truck’s compactor. After his torso was crushed by the compactor, he was rushed to Long Island College Hospital, but doctors and nurses were unable to save him.

“The purpose of OSHA’s inspection is to determine if there were any violations of workplace safety standards in connection with this incident,” Edmund Fitzgerald, a spokesman for OSHA in Boston, told the Eagle.

“At this time it’s too early to estimate a completion date for OSHA’s inspection. By law, an inspection can take no longer than 180 days,” he said. He added that although OSHA is a federal agency, its jurisdiction includes “most private-sector workplaces.”

The Daily News on Monday quoted Dalia Gervacio, Camarillo’s mother, as saying, “I want answers.”

In response to a phone call from the Eagle, an employee of Chambers Paper Fibrers said that to his knowledge, the company had no official statement about the tragedy.

Interestingly, the company has been in the news before. In 1996, according to an article in the New York Times of June 9 of that year, one of the company’s trucks was set on fire, apparently by mobsters trying to muscle in on the firm.

After that, the company’s then-president, Salvatore Benedetto, worked with the Kings County District Attorney’s Office, secretly taping meetings with suspected mobsters and corrupt carters in a “sting” of mob influence in the industry.

March 19, 2013 - 10:30am


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