US Labor Department's OSHA cites Sodexho for serious
safety and health violations at Philippi, W.Va., college
Proposed fines total $81,000
PHILIPPI, W.Va. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Sodexho Inc. with safety and health violations – 12 of them serious – found while maintenance workers removed asbestos at Alderson-Broaddus College in Philippi. OSHA initiated an inspection March 8 in response to a complaint. Proposed fines total $81,000.
The serious violations include failing to provide respirators, protective clothing and training for employees performing Class II asbestos work; inform workers of the location and quantities of asbestos-containing material; provide workers who voluntarily wear dust masks with Appendix D information of the Respirator Standard on the use of dusts masks or respirators; ensure that Class II asbestos work was conducted in regulated areas and supervised by a competent person; conduct daily monitoring to assess employee exposure and airborne concentration exposure; ensure proper disposal of ceiling tiles; ensure wet methods were used when conducting Class II asbestos work; and equip vacuum cleaners with HEPA filters. 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.
"Asbestos work poses serious safety and health risks to workers, including lung disease and other disorders," said Prentice Cline, director of OSHA's Charleston Area Office. "Sodexho must immediately correct these violations to ensure that its employees have a safe and healthful work environment."
Additionally, the company has been cited with one other-than-serious violation for recording inaccurate information in OSHA 300 injury and illness logs. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.
Sodexho Inc., headquartered in Gaithersburg, Md., employs about 25 workers at Alderson-Broaddus College and is responsible for grounds work, housekeeping and security.
The company has 15 days from receipt of the citations to comply, ask for an informal conference with OSHA's area director or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
The investigation was conducted by OSHA's Charleston Area Office; telephone 304-347-5937. To report workplace incidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call the agency's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742).
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 enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.
U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The information above is available in large print, Braille or audio tape or disc from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.