Region 2 News Release: NY 147
May 20, 1999
Contact: Chester J. Fultz
PHONE : 212-337-2319
FOUR CONTRACTORS CITED BY OSHA FOR ASBESTOS VIOLATIONS AT CARLE PLACE, LONG ISLAND MACY'S AND BLOOMINGDALES; PROPOSED PENALTIES TOTAL $182,800
FEDERATED DEPARTMENT STORES, INC. ALSO CITED
The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited four construction contractors doing work at Macy's and Bloomingdales in Carle Place, New York, for violations of the OSHA standards that protect workers from exposure to asbestos. Penalties proposed against the four contractors and Federated Department Stores, Inc., total $182,800 for one alleged willful and fifty-one alleged serious violations of OSHA standards. The companies have until June 9 to contest the citations.
According to OSHA area director Anthony J. DeSiervi, the action results from an investigation conducted from November 18, 1998 to May 14, 1999, at Macy's Furniture Galleria and Bloomingdales at 155 Glenn Cove Road, Carle Place, New York, following an employee complaint that workers were being exposed to asbestos while installing pipes and sprinklers and performing other work. Macy's and Bloomingdales are owned by Federated Department Stores, Inc., which has its office and principal place of business at 151 West 34th Street, New York, New York.
The construction contractors cited are:
- Grinnell Fire Protection Systems Co.
2323 Randolph Avenue
Avenel, New Jersey
- Par Plumbing Co., Inc
60 North Prospect Avenue
Lynbrook, New York
- Crosstown Interior Contracting, Inc.
46-39 Vernon Boulevard
Long Island City, New York
- Gilman Construction Co.
46-37 Vernon Boulevard
Long Island City, New York
OSHA alleges that Federated willfully violated OSHA's asbestos standard by not notifying all employers working at the job sites about material containing asbestos on pipes in the ceiling and enclosed store areas. The alleged willful violation carries a total proposed penalty of $55,000.
Federated was also cited for three alleged serious violations carrying a total proposed penalty of $9,000 for not complying with provisions of the OSHA asbestos standard designed to protect employees working adjacent to Class III asbestos jobs, and not assigning a competent person with authority to take corrective action if necessary to conduct an initial asbestos
exposure assessment before beginning construction work.
Class III asbestos jobs are classified as repair and maintenance operations in which materials presumed to contain asbestos are likely to be disturbed.
"Exposure to asbestos can cause serious illness, including lung cancer," DeSiervi said. "Workers who are required to work in areas in which asbestos-containing material could be disturbed during the work must be informed of the presence, quantity, and locations of the material. They must be properly trained and the employer must take the proper precautions to minimize their exposure."
Among the forty-eight alleged serious violations for which the contractors were cited are:
- not complying with provisions to protect employees exposed to asbestos.
- not providing engineering controls and work practices to minimize asbestos exposure to workers and bystander employees performing Class III asbestos work.
- not informing other employers on the sites that they were working with material containing or presumed to contain asbestos.
- not providing required warning signs.
- not having a written respiratory protection program.
- not providing protective clothing to employees.
- not providing and requiring the use of respirators.
- not providing asbestos-exposure monitoring.
- not providing a medical surveillance program.
- not providing an equipment room or area in which employees working with asbestos could be decontaminated.
- not providing required employee training.
- not informing employees of the precautions to be taken to ensure that airborne asbestos is confined to a specific area.
The alleged serious violations carry a total proposed penalty of $118,800: Grinnell Fire Protection Systems received citations totaling $36,000; Par Plumbing, $28,800; Crosstown Interior Contracting, $32,400; and Gilman Construction, $21,600.
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 and 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.
The investigation was conducted by OSHA's Long Island area office, located at 1400 Old Country Road, Suite 208, Westbury, New York, telephone (516) 334-3344.
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This information will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (212) 337-2319; TDD phone; 800-347-8029; OASAM TDD message referral phone number; 800-326-2577.