Region 2 News Release: NY 171
August 2, 1999
Contact: Chester J. Fultz
NEW YORKER HOTEL CITED BY OSHA FOR ALLEGED WILLFUL AND OTHER
SAFETY AND HEALTH VIOLATIONS; $238,950 IN PENALTIES PROPOSED
The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited The New Yorker Hotel Management Co., Inc., 481 8th Avenue, New York, New York, and proposed penalties of $238,950 against the firm, for three alleged willful, eleven alleged serious, and two alleged other-than-serious violations of OSHA standards. The company has until August 23 to contest the citations.
According to OSHA area director Robert D. Kulick, the action results from an inspection of the premises conducted from March 18 through July 27, following a referral alleging that employees were being exposed to air borne asbestos while performing renovation work and routine maintenance operations.
OSHA cited the hotel management company for three alleged willful violations of the asbestos in construction standard:
- failure to develop a respiratory protection program for employees doing repair and maintenance operations where asbestos is likely to be disturbed (defined as class 3 asbestos work).
- failure to provide protective clothing to employees working with asbestos.
- failure to provide specific asbestos-related training to employees performing class 3 asbestos work.
The alleged willful violations carry a total proposed penalty of $189,000.
The employer was also cited for eleven alleged serious violations of OSHA safety and health standards, including:
- failure to provide eye and face protection to employees to protect them against chemical and flying debris.
- failure to determine the existence of permits required for work performed in confined spaces.
- failure to instruct employees on the hazards, precautions and equipment use required prior to entering a confined space.
- failure to develop and/or implement a written hazard communication program.
- failure to maintain material safety data sheets for each of the chemicals used at the workplace.
- failure to provide information and training about the hazards associated with the chemicals used in the workplace.
- failure to assess lead hazards, provide interim protective measures for employees, and properly train employees exposed to lead hazards.
- failure to perform initial monitoring and exposure assessment for employees conducting class 3 asbestos work.
- failure to assure that proper engineering control/work practices such as wet methods, local exhaust ventilation, and impermeable drop cloths were used for employees performing class 3 asbestos work.
- failure to designate a competent person to ensure worker safety and health.
The alleged serious violations carry a total proposed penalty of $49,050.
The employer was also cited for failure to comply with OSHA's lockout/tagout standard and the requirement to provide employees with access to their medical records, two alleged other-than-serious violations carrying a total proposed penalty of $900.
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 regulations. A serious violation is defined as a condition which exists where there is a substantial possibility that death or serious physical harm can result. An other-than-serious violation is a hazardous condition that would probably not cause death or serious physical harm but would have a direct and immediate relationship to the safety and health of the employees.
The investigation was conducted by OSHA's Manhattan area office, located at 6 World Trade Center, room 881, New York, N. Y. 10048. Telephone (212) 466-2481.
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