BY JAMES FARRELL
A construction safety supervisor from Whitestone was arrested on Nov. 3 for allegedly possessing fake safety training certificates, the city’s Department of Investigation announced on Monday.
Andreas Tsamos, 49, was in charge of safety for a renovation project at the Fulton Houses Community Center in Manhattan when he was apprehended for the alleged fake documents.
On Nov. 2, DOI investigators discovered that an emergency fire exit door at the Tsamos’ job site was locked from the outside, preventing workers from leaving in the event of a fire. Additionally, there was no fall protection guardrail system installed where work was being done or on a scaffold that was installed at the site.
Following the discovery of the safety issues, investigators returned to the site on Nov. 3 to ask Tsamos, who works for Gem Quality Corporation of Brooklyn, to produce his safety credentials. As a site safety representative at Fulton Houses, Tsamos was required to hold a 30-hour safety certification from a training center approved by the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
According to DOI, Tsamos provided two certificates: a 10-hour approved OSHA course and a 30-hour approved OSHA course. The listed training company was “360Training.com,” but when investigators contacted the company, it allegedly confirmed that no individual with the defendant’s name had completed training courses on the date of the certificates. Additionally, the company said that all certificates bear the name of the courses that were taken. Tsamos’ certificates allegedly did not list the name of the courses.
The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), which owns the Fulton Houses Community Center, shut down the site until a new site safety representative is submitted for approval.
Tsamos was charged with criminal possession of a forged instrument in the third degree, which is a class A misdemeanor. If convicted, Tsamos could face up to a year in prison.
“Individuals overseeing site safety are charged with making sure that construction sites are safe and workers are not injured,” said DOI Commissioner Mark Peters. “This manager, instead, relied upon false documents at a site with multiple other safety problems. Professionals who place construction workers in dangers will not be tolerated and will face arrest.”
The safety issues at the site were corrected as of Nov. 3.
Reach James Farrell at (718) 357-7400 x 127, firstname.lastname@example.org or @farrellj329.