What can I do About an Employer not Doing What is Needed to Rid our Workplace of Bed Bugs?
by wish to remain unknown
(Ocean City, New Jersey)
I work in a Elderly Care Home in new jersey that has been bed bug infested with one room after the other for the past eight months. minimizing the risks and handling this has been very poorly handled. There has been a major lack in seeking out a plan that stands a chance. repeatedly the treatments have begun, but the facility has disregarded the advice and requirements from even the exterminating contractors, in completing proper treatment. There are no open lines of communication to the employees about how it is going to be dealt with as is goes. Instead of being provided with information, we are kept in the dark, left to worry and wonder . The upper management says that they have a handle on it, clearly they do not. This issue has been spread to various areas of the building as well as various floors. There is still no inspections on the furniture that is coming into the building with incoming residents, as well as inner moves to other rooms by existing residents. The maintenance staff has been forced to complete these moves even after stating the concern of not having this furniture inspected. The upper management is simply not giving regard and taking all steps needed to ensure our safety in the workplace. The halls are constantly walked be all and left as a means of spreading why have these areas never been treated? Those of us in the building making $10-$12 an hour can not afford to find ourselves with a home infestation costing thousands from our pocket, simply because the building heads choose to skimp on duties and funds to handle this correctly. As previously stated, no real plan of action exists, nor do we have any real knowledge or communication to help ensure our safety. Something must be done for our sake and the other building residents. is there any one or any organization that can make a difference in helping us in our workplace.
I'm sorry to hear about the challenging situation you're facing at your workplace. It's essential to address the bed
bug infestation in the elderly care home not only for the safety of the employees but also for the well-being of the residents. Here are a few suggestions on who you can contact to help you address this issue:
Local Health Department: Reach out to your local health department in New Jersey to report the situation. They can provide guidance and possibly conduct inspections to ensure that proper health and safety standards are being followed. You can find the contact information for your local health department here: https://www.nj.gov/health/lh/community/index.shtml
OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration): File a complaint with OSHA if you believe that your workplace is not adhering to safety and health standards. OSHA is responsible for enforcing safety regulations in workplaces across the United States. You can file a complaint online or by phone. Visit their website for more information: https://www.osha.gov/workers/file_complaint.html
New Jersey Division of Long Term Care Systems: Since you work in an elderly care home, you can contact the New Jersey Division of Long Term Care Systems to report your concerns. They are responsible for regulating and overseeing nursing homes and assisted living facilities in the state. Visit their website for more information: https://www.state.nj.us/health/healthfacilities/index.shtml
Consult an employment attorney: If you believe that your rights as an employee are being violated, you may want to consult with an employment attorney to discuss your options. They can help you understand your rights and guide you through the process of filing a complaint or taking legal action against your employer.
Raise awareness among your colleagues: Encourage your coworkers to speak up and express their concerns about the situation. A collective voice is more likely to be heard by upper management and may encourage them to take the issue more seriously.
Contact local media: If you're comfortable with sharing your story, consider contacting local newspapers or TV stations to raise awareness about the situation. Public attention might pressure the facility to take immediate action and resolve the problem.
Remember to document your concerns and communication with management, as this could be valuable evidence if you need to pursue legal action or involve regulatory authorities.