Region 2 News Release: NY 136
April 27, 1999
Contact: Chester J. Fultz
PHONE : 2212-337-2319
ALBANY, NEW YORK ASBESTOS REMOVAL COMPANY CITED BY OSHA FOR ALLEGED WILLFUL HEALTH VIOLATIONS: $117,750 IN PENALTIES PROPOSED
The U. S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Capital Partners, LLC, c/o Conley Realty Associates, Ltd., 1 Rapp Road, Albany, New York, and proposed penalties of $117,750 against the firm, for six alleged willful and four alleged serious violations of OSHA standards. The company has until May 18 to contest the citations.
According to OSHA area director John Tomich, the action results from an inspection conducted on November 23, 1998, of a building undergoing demolition at 194 Washington Avenue in Albany, in response to an employee complaint about unsafe worksite conditions.
OSHA alleges that the company willfully failed to protect its employees from asbestos exposure by:
not notifying employees of the presence, quantity, and location of asbestos contained in building materials.
not providing employees with proper respiratory protection.
not providing employees with proper protective clothing.
not establishing a regulated asbestos removal area.
not establishing proper engineering controls.
not properly assessing employee exposure to asbestos.
The alleged willful violations carry a total proposed penalty of $112,500.
"Because asbestos is a known carcinogen, it represents an extremely serious health hazard", Patricia K. Clark, regional OSHA administrator said. "This employer knowingly permitted workers to perform asbestos removal who were untrained in the hazards associated with the work, and who lacked proper respirators and protective clothing. Workers were actually performing asbestos removal in the street clothes that they wore back to their homes. This kind of flagrant disregard for OSHA regulations, actions which put workers' lives directly in jeopardy, requires that we take strong measures to bring this employer into compliance."
OSHA also cited the company for the following alleged serious violations:
not preventing employees from taking their asbestos contaminated clothing home for laundering.
not properly training employees in Class 1 asbestos removal work.
not properly disposing of asbestos debris.
not providing a competent person to supervise the removal of asbestos materials.
The alleged serious violations carry a total proposed penalty of $5,250.
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 Albany area office, located at 401 New Karner Road, Albany, N. Y., 12205. Telephone: (518) 464-6742.
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