OSHA cited heating contractor Hub-Langie Fuel Corp., Rochester, N.Y., for violations of safe asbestos removal at four of its work sites.
According to David Boyce, OSHA area director, the citations resulted from investigations conducted Dec. 3, 1999, through April 27, 2000, at four locations in Rochester where employees were alleged to have been exposed to asbestos while engaging in the removal and replacement of heating boilers.
"Exposure to asbestos can cause serious illness, including asbestosis and mesothelioma, a form of lung cancer," said Boyce. "Many workers, as in this case, don''t even know what''s in the material they''re working with. Employers who require their employees to be involved in asbestos removal must ensure that they are properly trained and take proper precautions to minimize their exposure."
Among the alleged serious violations for which OSHA cited the company are:
- failure to have a competent person perform an assessment prior to the start of asbestos removal operations and oversee removal activities;
- failure to provide employees with approved respirators for asbestos removal;
- failure to properly label bags containing asbestos debris; and,
- failure to provide employees with a medical evaluation.
OSHA proposed penalties against Hub-Langie Fuel Corp. totaling $126,000. The company has 15 days to address the citations.
by Virginia Sutcliffe