US Department of Labor's OSHA cites A.M. Castle & Co. in Franklin Park, Ill.,
for failing to take precautions during asbestos removal; penalties exceed $127,000
FRANKLIN PARK, Ill. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited A.M. Castle & Co. with 22 serious health violations after an inspection, initiated upon receiving a complaint, determined that workers were exposed to asbestos during the removal of insulation without the use of safety precautions at a site in Franklin Park. Additionally, six record-keeping and one other-than-serious asbestos violations were found. Proposed penalties total $127,600.
"Failing to take proper precautions when removing asbestos puts workers at risk for respiratory and other serious illnesses," said Diane Turek, director of OSHA's Chicago North Area Office in Des Plaines. "OSHA is committed to protecting workers on the job, especially when employers fail to do so."
The violations include failing to determine the presence, location and quantity of asbestos-containing or presumed asbestos-containing material; affix labeling and warning notices on asbestos-containing piping; provide a regulated area for asbestos removal operations; monitor employees and the work area for asbestos exposure during the removal process; and use a high-efficiency particulate air – or HEPA – vacuum to collect debris and dust during removal. Additionally, asbestos awareness training was not provided to employees performing the work, and respirators were not used. Finally, the employer did not provide or require the use of protective clothing or a decontamination room or area for workers. 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.
The record-keeping violations involve failing to properly complete the OSHA 300 and 301 injury and illness logs for 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011. An other-than-serious citations was also issued for failing to make a copy of the agency's asbestos standard and its appendices available to employees. 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.
The citations can be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/AMCastleCo_107725_032812.pdf*.
Franklin Park-based A.M. Castle & Co. has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings 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 Chicago North office at 847-803-4800.
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.
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U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The information above is available in large print, Braille, audio tape or disc from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.
* Accessibility Assistance: Contact OSHA's Office of Communications at 202-693-1999 for assistance accessing PDF materials.