The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Rex Harper, doing business as REH Property Maintenance of Jamestown, New York, for improper asbestos removal and disposal at Superior Steel Door & Trim Co. Inc. Harper faces a total of $168,772 in proposed penalties.
Superior Steel Door & Trim Co. Inc. had contracted with Harper for the removal of asbestos from piping. OSHA inspectors determined that Harper failed to protect employees from exposure to asbestos; perform asbestos work in a regulated area with proper barriers, ventilation and enclosures; use proper engineering controls and work practices; clean up and dispose of asbestos materials; launder and transport protective clothing; and implement respiratory protection and asbestos training programs for employees.
OSHA cited Superior Steel Door & Trim Co. Inc. for failing to determine the presence, location and quantity of asbestos-containing materials; develop and implement a chemical hazard communication program; and for a fall hazard involving a forklift. Proposed penalties total $12,124. The citations for both companies can be viewed on OSHA’s website.
"Asbestos is a known human carcinogen and can cause chronic lung disease, lung cancer, and other cancers," says OSHA’s Buffalo, New York Area Director Michael Scime. "Employers are legally obligated to comply with OSHA standards on toxic and hazardous substances to ensure workers are protected from exposure."
Information about safe handling of asbestos is available on OSHA’s webpage.Each company has 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. Harper failed to respond to the citations and did not request an informal conference or submit a letter of contest prior to their last day of the contest period. As a result, Harper’s citations became a final order.