The state agency that enforces workplace safety rules cited the city of Los Angeles for exposing employees to unsanitary conditions, including trash and bodily fluids, on the walkways outside City Hall East, it was reported Thursday.
Inspectors with the Division of Occupational Safety and Health, or Cal/OSHA, found that workers at City Hall East were exposed to the unsanitary conditions on exterior passageways, according to documents obtained by The Los Angeles Times.
City Hall East is home to several city agencies, including City Attorney Mike Feuer’s office. Homeless people frequently sleep overnight on the sidewalks outside.
Cal/OSHA officials conducted the inspection from Feb. 2 to Aug. 7, according to the documents.
According to The Times, Cal/OSHA issued citations last week to Feuer’s office and to the city’s General Services Department, which oversees maintenance of city properties, assessing a combined $1,995 in penalties.
Rob Wilcox, a spokesman for the City Attorney’s Office, told the paper the city plans to appeal the citations, while also noting that the City Attorney’s Office is not responsible for upkeep of the grounds outside City Hall East.
“GSD plans to appeal the violation and can not comment further due to pending litigation,” GSD officials wrote in a statement.
According to The Times, the citations were issued in response to a complaint by Deputy City Attorney Elizabeth Greenwood, who has filed a damages claim against the city, saying she contracted typhus while working in City Hall East.
The citations come about eight months after a pest control company issued a report linking a rodent infestation at City Hall to several homeless camps in the immediate area. The report by Cats USA, identified unsanitary conditions in the Civic Center, such as leftover food, human waste and hypodermic needles, The Times reported.
City Council President Herb Wesson in February introduced a motion asking the city to audit the “scope of vermin and pest control issues” at City Hall and adjoining city buildings.