Chatsworth, CA, September 8th, 2015 -- Last month, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced that two affiliated construction companies and one of its managers is facing almost $1.8 million in fines. According to OSHA, they violated numerous health standards related to worker exposure to asbestos.
The fines are associated with work that was done at a former Illinois elementary school where the companies’ employees were unaware that they were being exposed to asbestos as they removed floor tiles, insulation and other asbestos-containing materials. OSHA has cited them for 16 egregious, 9 willful and 6 serious violations.
OSHA inspectors found that they failed to warn employees, some of whom spoke only Spanish, of the danger – even though they were aware of the asbestos hazard. They also failed to ensure that workers used appropriate work methods and respirators, and to train them about the hazards of working around asbestos. In addition, OSHA reports that employees were threatened with being fired if they spoke with investigators.
“Construction companies have an obligation to protect workers and the public from the dangers associated with asbestos exposure,” said Franco Seif, President of Clark Seif Clark. “Lung cancer, asbestosis and mesothelioma can occur many years after exposure in some cases. At Clark Seif Clark, we offer asbestos testing and consulting services to identify and mitigate exposure risks associated with asbestos in residential, commercial and institutional properties. These services are also essential for complying with regulations, avoiding costly fines and potential litigation.”
About Clark Seif Clark
CSC was established in 1989 to help clients in both public and private sectors address environmental, IAQ, and health and safety (EH&S) issues. CSC is a leading provider of these services with multiple offices along the western seaboard and southwest. The company believes in science-based protocols and has a strong background in engineering, making them the preferred environmental consultants to industrial clients, healthcare facilities, architects, schools, builders, contractors, developers and real estate professionals.