Access-A-Ride offices in Long Island City infested with bed bugs

by nobugsonme on November 19, 2009 · 4 comments

in bed bugs, bed bugs in the workplace, new york city, queens

Access-a-Ride dispatchers in Long Island City say their Northern Blvd. bed bugs have been found in their office since the summer of 2008, and NYC Transit is only now taking action, The New York Daily News reports today.  (Access-a-Ride is a transportation van service for the disabled.)

A bed bug sniffing dog team found bed bugs on the 7th and 8th floors of the building on Friday.

“I hope it will force some pressure for them to do something,” said John Wau, 48, who showed pinprick-sized scars along his right arm that he said came from numerous bedbug bites.”They keep telling us not to worry, that everything is okay,” said Wau, a customer service representative. “But they’re not doing anything about it.”

Since the bedbugs were detected Friday on the seventh and eighth floors of the facility – where more than 700 dispatchers work for the firm – sections have been taped off to keep employees away from the infested areas and several items were removed, workers said.

Officials from NYC Transit, which operates Access-A-Ride, said the problem is being addressed.

“One of the recommendations to be implemented within the next two days will be the steam-cleaning of carpets, cubicles and office chairs of the call centers,” said spokesman Charles Seaton.

Note: taping off specific areas will keep employees from an area, but will not keep bed bugs from coming to the employees.

The article features an interview with one worker, Idalia Perez, who says she brought bed bugs from work home to her Bronx apartment in August 2008; she says she lost thousands of dollars of furniture due to the infestation, and received no support from her employer.

When hundreds of workers may have been exposed to bed bugs over more than a year’s time, you have to wonder how many people in New York may have gotten their bed bugs from this one prolonged bed bug infestation.

1 Winston O. Buggy November 19, 2009 at 2:43 pm

You also have to wonder how the bed bugs got there as they are not eligible for access a ride services. I surmise they hitchhiked their way in.

2 parakeets November 20, 2009 at 9:18 am

I wonder if bedbugs in the workplace could be an OSHA issue? They certainly affect the workplace enviornment. The line that I related to the most here is :”They keep telling us not to worry, that everything is okay,” said Wau, a customer service representative. “But they’re not doing anything about it.” That infuriating “see-no-bedbugs” attitude and accuse the victim of unnecessary worrying, is so prevalent…in dorms, offices, senior centers, apartment buildings, condo complexes. The only justice I can see is that any bedbug problem that is ignored (in this case apparently since 2008) will cost those who ignored it far more to correct the longer they keep their heads in the sand.

3 deathtoallbbs November 28, 2009 at 8:47 pm

I hope if it isn’t an OSHA issue that it becomes one fast.

That they’re not doing anything about it is really disturbing. And when you think of the people who go in and out of there and how many of them could have hitchhiked just because there is a lot of traffic… I wonder how many other buildings have been infected because of this ONE.

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