March 22, 2016
OSHA fines five companies more than $185K for not warning workers
about asbestos, not providing protection and allowing other hazards
Building management firm, Roscoe Properties cited twice for similar violations
SAN ANTONIO - The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited five Texas companies for failing to inform construction workers renovating a San Antonio building of the presence of dangerous asbestos, and allowing other hazards. In total, the companies now face $185,150 in fines.
After their inspection, OSHA cited Roscoe Properties Inc. and One Eighty Construction with one willful violation each for failing to notify employees of the presence, location, and quantity of asbestos. The agency also cited One Eighty Construction for one serious violation for failing to ensure workers properly removed the asbestos tainted materials. OSHA previously cited both companies for willful asbestos-related violations at a second San Antonio apartment complex in November 2015. Jason Berkowitz, a local developer, owns both Roscoe and One Eighty Construction. Roscoe Properties is a commercial real estate management firm with more than 50 properties in Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio.
The site of the inspection, One Eleven Park Avenue, is a multi-family rental property in San Antonio.
OSHA also cited Varco Builders of Texas LLC, a renovation contractor, for failing to use adequate work practices during asbestos removal and for failure to protect employees from electrical hazards. The building’s owner, One Eleven Park LLC, and flooring contractor Colors Unlimited, also received citations for asbestos related violations at the site.
The agency has proposed the following penalties (links to the citations included):
“Exposure to asbestos can have devastating outcomes, including lung disease and cancer,” said Alejandro Porter, OSHA’s area director in the San Antonio Office. “It’s imperative that employers take action to keep workers from harm by informing and protecting them when asbestos hazards exist in the workplace.”
All companies have 15 business days from receipt of its citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
To ask questions; obtain compliance assistance; file a complaint or report amputations, eye loss, 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 San Antonio Area Office at 210-472-5040.
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Release Number: 16-618-DAL
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