OSHA has cited five Texas companies for failing to inform construction workers renovating a San Antonio building of the presence of dangerous asbestos, and allowing them to be exposed to other hazards. In total, the companies now face $185,150 in fines.
“Exposure to asbestos can have devastating outcomes, including lung disease and cancer,” said Alejandro Porter, OSHA’s area director in the San Antonio office. “It’s imperative that employers take action to keep workers from harm by informing and protecting them when asbestos hazards exist in the workplace.”
OSHA cited Roscoe Properties Inc. and One Eighty Construction with one willful violation each for failing to notify employees of the presence, location and quantity of asbestos. The agency also cited One Eighty Construction for one serious violation for failing to ensure workers properly removed the asbestos tainted materials.
OSHA previously cited both Roscoe Properties and One Eighty Construction for willful asbestos-related violations at a second San Antonio apartment complex in November 2015. Jason Berkowitz, a local developer, owns both Roscoe and One Eighty Construction. Roscoe Properties is a commercial real estate management firm with more than 50 properties in Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio.
The site of the inspection, One Eleven Park Avenue, is a multi-family rental property in San Antonio.
OSHA also cited Varco Builders of Texas LLC, a renovation contractor, for failing to use adequate work practices during asbestos removal and for failure to protect employees from electrical hazards. The building’s owner, One Eleven Park LLC, and flooring contractor Colors Unlimited, also received citations for asbestos related violations at the site.
The agency proposed the following penalties (links to the citations included):
- One Eighty Construction Inc.: $76,230
- Varco Builders of Texas: $9,240 (safety citations)
- Roscoe Properties Inc.: $70,000
- Varco Builders of Texas: $18,480 (health citations)
- Colors Unlimited: $8,400
- One Eleven Park: $2,800
All companies have 15 business days from receipt of its citations to comply, request an informal conference with Porter or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.