Cal/OSHA, a watchdog for worker safety, has the authority to mandate changes within Public Works and issue up to tens of thousands of dollars in fines.
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A recent report by the NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit revealed the city's fleet of street-cleaning vehicles is often overloaded with trash and unsecured. California law and Public Works' own safety manual require garbage to be covered or strapped down while transported in the backs of pickup trucks, so that the trash doesn't fall out of moving vehicles. Yet, San Francisco Public Works may have been ignoring those requirements for years as its street-cleaning crews consistently hauled trash across town to the city dump.
In speaking with the Investigative Unit, Director of Public Works Mohammed Nuru appeared unaware of his department's own policies and state safety laws that govern his fleet of roughly 350 street-cleaning vehicles. Nuru, however, vowed to make major safety changes in the wake of the NBC Bay Area investigation.