Multiple Texas companies cited by OSHA for asbestos violations, other hazards

24 Mar 2016 by under News

Gavel Scales of Justice American flag square 100x100 Multiple Texas companies cited by OSHA for asbestos violations, other hazards   According to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL)’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), five companies have been cited for failure to notify construction workers of asbestos and other hazards during a renovation. As a result, the companies are now faced with a total of $185,150 in fines.

Asbestos is not hazardous if left undisturbed, but when it is broken or crushed, such as in a renovation project, it can release tiny fibers that may become inhaled or ingested. If this type of exposure occurs, it can lead to the development of , a deadly cancer that affects the lining of the lungs, abdomen or, in rare cases, the heart. Sadly, there is still no known cure for mesothelioma.

The construction workers were laboring in the multi-family rental property One Eleven Park Avenue in San Antonio, Texas. Roscoe Properties Inc. and One Eighty Construction were both found guilty of one willful violation of failing to alert their employees of the presence, location and quantity of the asbestos. One Eighty Construction also received a serious violation for failing to ensure its workers properly remove the asbestos-tainted materials. Both of the companies have had previous run-ins with OSHA involving willful asbestos violations in 2015. Local developer Jason Berkowitz owns both One Eleven Avenue and Roscoe Properties.

Renovation contractor Varco Builders of Texas LLC was also included in the list of companies cited for not using proper work practice during asbestos removal, but also for failing to protect workers from electrical hazards. Even the building’s owner, One Eleven Park LLC, and flooring contractor Colors Limited have been cited for asbestos-related violations.

The following penalties, in order from largest to smallest, have been proposed by OSHA against the five companies:

  • One Eighty Construction Inc.: $76,230
  • Roscoe Properties Inc.: $70,000
  • Varco Builders of Texas: $18,480 (Health Citations)
  • Varco Builders of Texas: $9,240 (Safety Citations)
  • Colors Unlimited: $8,400
  • One Eleven Park: $2,800

“Exposure to asbestos can have devastating outcomes, including lung disease and cancer,” Alejandro Porter, OSHA’s area director in the San Antonio Office, told the DOL. “It’s imperative that employers take action to keep workers from harm by informing and protecting them when asbestos hazards exist in the workplace.”

The companies now have three options to choose from over the course of 15 business days from the receipt of the citations:  comply with OSHA’s citations and penalties, contest the findings before OSHA, or request a conference between the two parties.

Source: DOL

 

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