Created: October 21, 2019 05:31 PM
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Senator Chuck Schumer wants the federal government to set new regulations on grease traps after 3-year-old Bryce Raynor drowned in the summer when he fell into a grease trap at the Tim Hortons on University Avenue in Rochester.
Rochester police reports and a claim against Monroe County and the City of Rochester say when Raynor fell in, the grease trap was unlocked and flipped open.
The ideas presented today would probably prevent that.
In July Tenitia Cullum was unable to find a babysitter, so she took her son Bryce to work with her at Tim Hortons the day he died.
Police reports say Raynor was out of her sight for four seconds when he fell into the grease trap behind the cafe.
Monday, Cullum was with Senator Schumer at the federal building in Rochester to call for new regulations.
"You know the Scriptures say when some terrible tragedy befalls you the human instinct is to curse the darkness," Schumer said. "The Scripture also says instead if you try to prevent it from ever happening again, it's lighting a candle. And Tenitia is lighting a candle and we so respect you for doing that Tenitia."
Cullum read from a statement and remembered her son and a little girl in Alabama who died the same way.
"For them I will take on something bigger than myself and I will do everything possible until this is on the president's desk," Cullum said.
In August, Monroe County inspected 2,500 grease traps in the county and found four that were unsafe. The county said they were fixed.
The senator used a poster to show what he wants: a solid lid on top of the trap, a pad lock to keep it closed and a $40 plastic cover as a second layer of protection.
Schumer says he wants the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, to start the regulations.
In an email, a spokeman from the federal Department of Labor wrote he's looking into it.
Schumer said OSHA "has regulations for pits and holes but doesn't have good regulations for grease traps, anything specific."
OSHA already fined the company that manages the Tim Hortons on University Avenue.
OSHA says Ninety Rock Management must pay $8,695 for a "serious" violation for failing to inspect and maintain safe working conditions to keep employees from falling into large holes.
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