BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Five months after a Baltimore Department of Public Works supervisor fell from a catwalk and died, her family and union leaders want the city to act to address numerous safety issues at the facility.

Wednesday morning, Trina Cunningham’s family and former co-workers called on the city for safety changes.

“This was horrific to experience,” City Union of Baltimore President Antoinette Ryan-Johnson said. “I want no family to go through this ever again.”

In June, Cunningham fell from a catwalk spanning the water filtration system inside the plant where she had been a supervisor the previous three years.


“It’s a tough time for our family,” Trent Cunningham, Trina’s brother said. “She’s not here. It’s been five months, and when I come down here, all it does is jog memories.”

Her brother used to work at the plant, too.

“I don’t want to see no sticker, ‘Safety first, mission second.'” Cunningham said. “I want to see action. That’s what I want to see, and we haven’t seen that.”

Last month, the State Labor Department cited the city for 11 “serious” violations at the Patapsco Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Violations ranged from hazardous working conditions to a lack of inspections.

“They weren’t done correctly, and, if they had been done, what needed to be repaired had not been repaired,” Ryan-Johnson said. “My belief is that, if that had happened, we wouldn’t be standing here right now.”

The report listed several violations of damaged catwalks.

Union leaders say their concerns are still not taken seriously.

“They may be looked at a little more. However, I’m not certain they’re being taken as seriously as they really need to be,” Ryan-Johnson said.

“When workers are making complaints, they have to be met. And, then, also for the workers, please let us know as a council so we can hold people responsible in an earlier fashion,” City Council President Brandon Scott said.

A DPW spokesperson tells WJZ those violations are being addressed. They’ve brought in an outside consultant to do more research.

Paul Gessler


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