Remembering Steven Frosch
The family of longtime Queens sanitation worker Steven Frosch, who died in a work-related accident at the Queens West 5A Broom Garage back in June, were honored today by the NYC Department of Sanitation (DSNY).
Surrounded by his former coworkers, supervisors and local elected officials, Frosch’s family and friends looked on as Commissioner Kathryn Garcia and others unveiled a plaque and shrine, naming the garage in his honor.
Jason Vazquez, Frosch’s immediate supervisor at the garage, located at 58-02 48th St. in Maspeth, said he will always remember his longtime coworker as, “one of the best workers that the department ever had.”
“He was one of these guys that when you meet him, in five minutes you’re always going to feel more positive than you were before,” Vazquez said. “He was always a positive influence and helped me continue on in my path.”
Vazquez also worked with Frosch when he was at his former post in Forest Hills.
“The people there loved him and as a supervisor out there, he didn’t need to be supervised,” he said. “He always did his job 100 percent perfect.”
Frosch died on scene when he was struck and pinned by a mechanical broom while repairing his “street cleaner” in the Maspeth garage.
Commissioner Garcia said she has remained close with the family ever since the accident, adding that it has been her mission to create a safer department ever since.
“There is a real focus now on safety in all aspects of our operations, not just what you would think as being the more dangerous portions of the job,” Garcia said. “Also, I think there has been a real support for one another during this particular time of mourning.”
While she said they have placed more of a focus on creating a safer work environment for their employees, Garcia noted that the job is a dangerous work place and that workers must “remain focused at all times.”
Last summer Garcia said DSNY put their workers through defensive driving classes as part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Vision Zero initiative.
“He was a great guy, he was a fabulous employee and he left behind a family of four small children,” she said.
State Assemblyman and former member of DSNY Michael DenDekker said while he never met Frosch on the job, they both worked at the same garage together and he remembers his name.
“When people turn around and say, ‘what do you do for a living,’ it kind of identifies you when you say ‘a sanitation worker,’” DenDekker said. “That’s not who Steven was. He was a husband, a father, a brother, a family person.”