ALBANY, N.Y. -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Lorice Enterprises LLC of Albany, N.Y., for nine alleged violations of safety and health standards, including one willful violation, while removing asbestos containing roofing material at a site located on Kent Street. The asbestos remediation company faces a total $83,300 in proposed fines.
'Lorice Enterprises did not conduct an initial exposure assessment to determine exposure for the workers removing asbestos-containing roofing material. Additionally, the employer did not utilize wet methods to ensure that asbestos did not become airborne and failed to ensure head and eye protection for these workers,' said Kimberly Castillon, OSHA's area director in Albany. 'Safety conditions must be addressed promptly and effectively, now and in the future, so workers are not exposed to potential injuries and illnesses.'
OSHA's Albany Area Office initiated the August 2012 inspection in response to a referral from the New York State Asbestos Control Bureau. The inspection resulted in the issuance of one willful citation with a $49,000 fine for failing to perform daily monitoring for asbestos exposure. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.
The eight serious violations with $34,300 in fines include failing to wear protective equipment properly and wet materials to prevent exposure to possible airborne asbestos. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
'One of the best means of preventing serious workplace hazards is to establish an effective safety and health management system through which management and employees work together to actively identify, analyze and eliminate work-related hazards,' said Robert Kulick, OSHA's regional administrator in New York.
Lorice Enterprises has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the OSHA area director in Albany or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742), or the agency's Albany office at 518-464-4338.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.