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Region 1 News Release: 08-1756-BOS/BOS 2008-356
Mon., Dec, 1, 2008
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: 617-565-2074


Brooklyn, N.Y., developer faces more than $48,000 in U.S. Labor Department OSHA fines for hazards at New Haven, Conn., asbestos removal worksite

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. - The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited State Assets LLC, a Brooklyn, N.Y., building developer, for 18 alleged willful and serious violations of health and safety standards at a building rehabilitation site at 1175 State St. in New Haven, Conn.

State Assets LLC faces a total of $48,100 in proposed fines following an OSHA inspection that began June 11 in response to employee complaints. The citations address a variety of hazards involving the removal of insulation and floor tiles containing asbestos, chemical hazard communication, flammable chemicals, fire protection, electrical safety and lack of personal protective equipment for employees.

"Employees who were removing asbestos-containing materials at this site lacked basic safeguards that must be in place before performing such work," said Robert Kowalski, OSHA's area director in Bridgeport. "In addition, they were exposed to serious and potentially fatal fire, electrocution and chemical hazards."

OSHA's inspection found that State Assets did not monitor the worksite to determine the levels of asbestos to which the employees were exposed, did not establish and mark regulated asbestos removal areas, and did not provide employees with required respirators, eye protection and protective clothing.

In addition, there were several electrical related hazards including exposed live electrical parts and ungrounded, damaged or misused electrical cords; no hazard communication training, unlabeled containers of hazardous chemicals; missing material safety data sheets; no fire protection program on the site and failure to replace a discharged and damaged fire extinguisher; containers of flammable chemicals not protected from damage; improper storage of compressed gas cylinders; no eye protection for an employee using a cutting torch; lack of protective gloves; and protruding nails from scrap lumber.

As a result of these conditions, OSHA issued State Assets LLC one willful citation for the lack of asbestos monitoring and 17 serious citations for the other conditions. OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with plain indifference to or intentional disregard for employee safety and health. OSHA issues serious citations when death or serious physical harm is likely to result from hazards about which the employer knew or should have known.

Detailed information on asbestos hazards and protective measures is available on OSHA's Web site at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/asbestos/index.html. State Assets LLC has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to meet with OSHA or to contest them to the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. This inspection was conducted by OSHA's Bridgeport Area Office; telephone 203-579-5581.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthy workplace for their employees. OSHA's role is to promote the safety and health of America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual process improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.


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U.S. Department of Labor releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format (large print, Braille, audiotape or disc) from the COAST office upon request. Please specify which news release when placing your request at 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755. The Labor Department is committed to providing America's employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit www.dol.gov/compliance.
Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.

OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents

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