An investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has found that Belfor Property Restoration and subcontractor Custom Crushing & Company – both based in Kansas City, Missouri – failed to comply with OSHA’s asbestos removal standards while performing rehabilitation work at Kansas State University’s Hale Library in Manhattan, Kansas. Custom Crushing & Company faces $193,596 in proposed penalties, and Belfor Property Restoration faces proposed penalties totaling $39,780.
OSHA cited Custom Crushing & Company for 23 serious health violations, including exposing employees to asbestos and failing to: provide respiratory protection and personal protective clothing; develop a written hazard communication program; train workers on asbestos hazards; properly dispose of material and waste containing asbestos; and conduct medical surveillance for employees exposed to health hazards.
OSHA cited Belfor Property Restoration for three serious violations after determining asbestos abatement on the project did not comply with OSHA standards. Inspectors also determined that the company failed to inform the building’s owner and other employees of the location and quantity of presumed asbestos-containing material.
“Asbestos is a well-known health hazard that can cause lung cancer, mesothelioma and other life-threatening illnesses,” says OSHA Wichita Area Director Ryan Hodge. “Employers working in the restoration industry are required to remediate asbestos hazards to ensure workers are adequately protected.”Both companies have 15 business days from receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. See citations issued to Custom Crushing here and Belfor here.