NYS Dept. of Labor cites city of Watertown over violations that led to death of sewage employee

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) - The State Department of Labor’s Public Employee Safety and Health (PESH) Bureau issued citations against the City of Watertown for violations of safety laws that contributed to the on-the-job death of a sewage treatment plant process worker. 

On Nov. 20, 2017, 54-year-old Gregory Eliopoulos was working on the evening shift at the Sewage Treatment Plant, adjusting a fitting on an energized high-pressure hydraulic line feeding a filter press machine when the fitting came off the machine, fatally striking him.

PESH cited the city over five serious violations and two non-serious violations that led to the death of Eliopoulos.

"This was no accident, because it was preventable. The City’s failure to properly train their workers on how to safely operate some very high-powered equipment, and other serious safety violations involving that equipment cost our member his life, and the Eliopoulos family their husband and father. This incident should have never occurred, and we are holding the City accountable for his needless and tragic death," said CSEA Central Region President Colleen Wheaton.

Following the citations, the City will now have various dates to come into compliance.

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