Cleaning & Maintenance Management Online

OSHA fines contractor for improper asbestos removal

March 26, 2010
DANVERS, MA — The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently proposed $136,000 in fines against William A. Berry & Son Inc. for 19 alleged violations while removing asbestos-containing material at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center last September, according to Business & Legal Reports.
OSHA inspectors found that William A. Berry & Son employees were removing laboratory ventilation hoods with asbestos-containing panels without proper respiratory protection and other required safeguards, the story stated.
Brenda Gordon, OSHA area director for Boston and Southeastern Massachusetts, said: "Asbestos is well-recognized as a health hazard since inhalation of asbestos fibers may lead to lung cancer and other diseases. OSHA standards are designed to minimize the risk of exposure and its potential impact on workers'' health, but they are effective only so long as employers adhere to them."
According to the article, William A. Berry & Son allegedly failed to conduct an initial asbestos exposure assessment and monitor the worksite daily for exposure.
Other violations include William A. Berry & Son''s failure to: Establish regulated work areas, provide protective clothing and a decontamination area, use high-efficiency particular air (HEPA) filtered vacuums to collect debris, properly train employees and ensure inspection and oversight by a competent person, the story noted.
A single, non-serious citation was placed upon William A. Berry & Son for not providing OSHA with logs in a timely manner, the story added.
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