Region 2 News Release: NY 103
January 24, 2000
Contact: Chester J. Fultz
TWO CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTORS CITED BY OSHA FOR ALLEGED ASBESTOS VIOLATIONS AT BROOKVILLE CAMPUS OF C.W. POST COLLEGE; $370,900 IN PENALTIES PROPOSED
LONG ISLAND UNIVERSITY ALSO CITED
The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited two construction contractors doing asbestos removal work at the Brookville Campus of C.W. Post College for alleged violations of the OSHA standards designed to protect workers from asbestos exposure. OSHA proposed penalties of $370,900 against the two contractors, Aramark Corporation, of 135 New Road, Madison, Connecticut, and Image Construction of New York, Inc., 53-17-43rd Street, Maspeth, New York, and Long Island University, for six alleged willful and thirty alleged serious violations of OSHA standards. The companies have until February 7, 2000 to contest the citations.
According to OSHA Area Director Anthony DeSiervi, the action results from an investigation conducted from July 14, 1999 to January 14, 2000, at the C.W. Post Campus, on Northern Blvd., in Brookville, following an employee complaint that workers were being exposed to asbestos while removing thermal system insulation pipes.
OSHA alleges that Long Island University willfully violated OSHA's asbestos standard by not performing proper monitoring to accurately determine the airborne concentrations of asbestos to which employees may have been exposed and not using proper engineering controls and work practices in all asbestos removal operations, regardless of exposure levels. OSHA further alleges that employees were not using respirators, and that employees working in or adjacent to areas containing asbestos were not notified of the presence, location, and quantity of such material at the worksite.
The four alleged willful violations carry a total proposed penalty of $220,000.
Long Island University was additionally cited for eight alleged serious violations carrying a total proposed penalty of $20,500, for not complying with provisions of the OSHA asbestos standard designed to protect employees working adjacent to Class III asbestos jobs, classified as repair and maintenance operations in which materials presumed to contain asbestos are likely to be disturbed.
"Exposure to asbestos can cause serious illness, including lung cancer," DeSiervi said. "Workers who are required to work in areas in which asbestos-containing material could be disturbed must be informed of the presence, quantity, and locations of the material. They must be properly trained to deal with the hazards associated with working with this substance, and the employer must take proper precautions to minimize employee exposure."
OSHA alleges that Aramark Corporation willfully violated OSHA's asbestos standard by not performing proper monitoring to accurately determine the airborne concentrations of asbestos to which employees may have been exposed, not using proper engineering controls or work practices in all operations covered by the standard, regardless of exposure levels, and not using proper engineering and work practice controls to minimize employee exposure to asbestos.
The two alleged willful violations carry a total proposed penalty of $80,000.00.
Aramark Corporation was additionally cited for thirteen alleged serious violations carrying a total proposed penalty of $40,500 for not complying with provisions of the OSHA asbestos standard designed to protect employees working adjacent to Class III asbestos jobs.
OSHA also cited Image Construction for nine alleged serious violations carrying a total proposed penalty of $9,900, for not complying with provisions of the OSHA asbestos standard designed to protect employees performing Class I asbestos work, including the removal of material containing asbestos from thermal system insulation pipes.
Among the thirty alleged serious violations for which the contractors were cited are:
- failure to properly train employees in safety hazard recognition.
- failure to properly guard pulleys.
- failure to properly protect employees from falling through skylights.
- failure to confine asbestos removal work within regulated areas
- failure to ensure that employees used proper respirators in Class I and Class III asbestos removal work
- failure to establish and implement a written respiratory protection program.
- failure to provide employees with proper personal protective equipment.
- failure to provide proper hygiene facilities or decontamination rooms for employees.
- failure to inform employees that they would be working with asbestos containing materials,
- failure to properly train employees to perform Class I through Class IV asbestos work
- failure to assure that asbestos was disposed of and cleaned up properly.
- failure to ensure that a competent person was on site during asbestos operations.
A willful violation is defined by OSHA as one committed with an intentional disregard for, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the OSHA act and regulations. A serious violation is defined by OSHA as one in which there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result.
The investigation was conducted by OSHA's Long Island Area Office located at 1400 Old Country Road, Suite 208, Westbury, NY Telephone: (516) 334-3344.
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