Wednesday, September 12, 2012

OSHA cites 7 companies from Miami, and San Antonio with 46 violations for exposing workers to asbestos

Proposed penalties total more than $148,000 for hazards at San Antonio work site

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited seven construction companies – three Miami-based contractors and four San Antonio-based subcontractors – with 45 serious violations for exposing workers to asbestos hazards at a San Antonio construction work site. Proposed penalties total $148,000.

"Asbestos is an extremely hazardous material that can potentially cause lifelong, irreversible health conditions," said John Hermanson, OSHA's regional administrator in Dallas. "It is imperative that OSHA's safety and health standards be followed to avoid accidents, injuries and illnesses."

In response to a referral by the Texas Department of State Health Services, OSHA's San Antonio Area Office initiated a safety and health inspection in March at the Reserves at Pecan Valley apartment complex located on East Southcross Boulevard. Inspectors found that workers were remodeling apartments without the use of proper clothing and respiratory equipment that would protect them from exposure to asbestos.

Specifically, the violations include failing to abate asbestos hazards and ensure that employees work in regulated areas, perform air monitoring for asbestos exposure, use the required engineering controls to prevent exposure, require the use of proper respiratory and personal protective equipment, train workers on the hazards of working with asbestos and ensure that an asbestos assessment is performed by a qualified person. A serious violation occurs when there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or
should have known.


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