In January of 2014, Oscar Orellana fell off an eight-foot-high pallet in the warehouse of B&H Photo Video. The result was an injury to his upper spine. Orellana states that he was never fully or properly trained when it comes to operating a forklift. He was later instructed to use the machinery to unload inventory. He states he was never provided a hard hat.
On Sunday, October 11, 2015, Orellana and roughly 200 co-workers publicly denounced B&H Photo Video. The company earns more than $250 million in annual revenue. It is the largest non-chain photo store in the country. It also has a long list of complaints alleging discrimination and lack of workplace safety.
According to allegations, B&H’s main warehouse, which is in Brooklyn’s Navy Yard, contains insulation with fiberglass. Particles fill the air and eventually end up on the skin of the workers which can result in rashes, nosebleeds, and respiration problems. Workers also claim that they are told to work with asbestos-insulated tubes.
Many of the complaints coming from the workers include the presence of dizziness, fainting, and kidney stones. Employees claim that they are not given the proper safety equipment, including gloves. In September of 2014, two of the tractor trailers parked near the warehouse caught fire and the shipping and receiving department was invaded by clouds of black smoke. According to workers at the time, it took nearly a half hour for anyone to pay any attention, let the workers leave, and get everyone through the metal detectors.
It is the job of the employer to make sure that employees are provided a safe working environment. When this doesn’t happen, people can get hurt and the employer should be held accountable. At The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C., our New York City workplace accident lawyers are dedicated to helping injured employees. Call us today for your free consultation.