Officials with federal OSHA arrived at the clean-up site of the train derailment and toxic chemical spill in East Palestine, OH to investigate the safety concerns of Norfolk Southern workers.
Workers with the railroad have complained of a lack of proper PPE and illnesses caused by the toxic chemicals. They’ve collected more than 2,000,000 gallons of toxic liquid and more than 700 tons of contaminated soil so far, according to WFMJ 21 News.
The news station reports that OSHA officials have arrived onsite to inspect safety precautions as the remediation of the toxic chemicals continues.
This follows complaints from a railroad workers’ union to Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg that workers were falling ill with nausea, migraines and other symptoms because Norfolk Southern wasn’t providing proper PPE to its workers who are cleaning up the site of the derailment.
The union claims Norfolk Southern didn’t provide 40 maintenance workers performing clean-up duties at the site with appropriate PPE, including respirators, eye protection, protective chemical suits, and rubber boots and gloves.
First responders’ health being monitored
First responders at the incident are also being monitored for illness after working close to the fire and smoke they initially encountered following the train derailment.
Local fire fighters and hazardous materials clean-up crews requested a list of all chemicals on the train immediately following the derailment, but the list they received didn’t include all of the chemicals leaking or on fire at the time.
That list was fully updated two days after the incident.