Two construction contractors are getting a lesson in safe asbestos removal.
OSHA cited the two companies doing asbestos removal work at the Brookville Campus of C.W. Post College for failing to protect workers from asbestos exposure.
The proposed penalties of $370,000 are against Aramark Corp., Madison, Conn., and Image Construction of New York Inc., Maspeth, N.Y., and Long Island University.
According to OSHA Area Director Anthony DeSiervi, the action resulted from an investigation conducted from July 14, 1999 to Jan. 14 2000, at the C.W. Post Campus in Brookville, N.Y.
The investigation followed an employee complaint that workers were being exposed to asbestos while removing thermal system insulation pipes.
OSHA alleges that Long Island University willfully violated OSHA's asbestos standard by not performing monitoring to accurately determine the airborne concentrations of asbestos to which employees may have been exposed.
Failure on the part of Long Island University to use proper engineering controls and work practices in all asbestos removal operation, regardless of exposure levels, is also being alleged by OSHA.
It was found that employees were not using respirators, and that employees working in or adjacent to areas containing asbestos were not notified of the presence, location and quantity of the material at the worksite.
Long Island University's violations carry a total proposed penalty of $240,500.
"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 must be informed of the presence, quantity and location of the material."
Aramark Corp. will pay a penalty of $80,000 for failing to perform proper monitoring to accurately determine the airborne concentrations of asbestos to which employees may have been exposed.
OSHA also cited Image Construction for nine alleged serious violations carrying a total proposed penalty of $9,900.