House Panel to Examine Workers' Deaths in Hearing Today

Bruce Beggs |

LINDEN, N.J. — A congressional subcommittee will conduct a field hearing here this afternoon to examine a Dec. 1 industrial accident that resulted in the deaths of two workers at a local commercial laundry company.
The Workforce Protections Subcommittee of the U.S. House Committee on Education and Labor, chaired by Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., will hold Workplace Tragedies: Examining Problems and Solutions beginning at 2 p.m. EST today in the third-floor courtroom of Linden’s City Hall, 301 N. Wood Ave.
Witnesses scheduled to appear are:• Rick Engler, director, New Jersey Work Environment Council; • Eric Frumin, director of health and safety, UNITE HERE; • David Socolow, commissioner, New Jersey Department of Labor & Workplace Development; • James W. Stanley, president, FDRsafety LLC, on behalf of the Uniform & Textile Service Association (UTSA); • Charles Wowkanech, president, New Jersey AFL-CIO. Victor M. Diaz Jr., 42, of Hillside, N.J., and Carlos Diaz, 41, of Paterson, N.J., were found in an empty 20,000-gallon steel tank at North East Linen Co., formerly known as Morey La Rue Laundry & Drycleaning. Autopsies determined that toxic fumes had asphyxiated them.
The men were reportedly trying to clean the industrial-sized tank. Investigators sought to determine if personal protective equipment was available to the men and if they were trained or instructed to wear such protective gear while cleaning the tank.
It wasn’t the men’s usual assignment. Victor Diaz was a driver, and Carlos Diaz was a laborer.

About the author

Bruce Beggs

American Trade Magazines LLC

Editorial Director, American Trade Magazines LLC

Bruce Beggs is editorial director of American Trade Magazines LLC, including American Coin-Op, American Drycleaner and American Laundry News. He was the editor of American Laundry News from November 1999 to May 2011. Beggs has worked as a newspaper reporter/editor and magazine editor since graduating from Kansas State University in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications. He and his wife, Sandy, have two children.


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