Danger on the Hill

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The Capitol and other congressional buildings are rife with fire traps and other pervasive problems of age and dangerous design, with an estimated 6,300 safety hazards lurking on Capitol Hill this Congress.

The figure comes from a new report by the Office of Compliance, which is responsible for protecting the congressional workplace. Its investigators found that a quarter of the 6,300 hazards are potentially fatal or could leave victims with serious injuries.

Antique, open stairwells in the Russell Senate Office Building could create a deadly smoke funnel, preventing employees from escaping if the building caught fire or sustained an explosive terrorist attack. The Library of Congress’s Thomas Jefferson Building lacks adequate exit stairwells. The Capitol building itself has structural defects that leave it inadequate to stop the spread of smoke and toxic fumes.

Workplace safety experts say that if Congress were a private-sector business, it would be at risk for massive fines from government regulators.

Full Story: Danger on the Hill – Erika Lovley – POLITICO.com

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