Quick-and-dirty asbestos & lead abatements earn company $2.3M OSHA fine

by on April 8, 2014 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: Workplace Safety Network
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OSHA threw the book at a real estate development and management company for allegedly requiring workers to conduct a quick-and-dirty cleanup of the former Harlem Valley Psychiatric Center in the Wingdale section of Dover Plains, NY.

OSHA issued a $2.3 million fine to Olivet Management LLC for 45 willful violations for exposing numerous workers and their families to hazardous levels of asbestos and lead.

Olivet reportedly tried to ready the facility for an investor tour: It ordered its workers and contractors to remove floor tiles, debris, and insulation containing asbestos and lead-based paint and painted surfaces—all under the supervision of Olivet supervisors. OSHA charges Olivet with failing to take basic safety precautions, such as failure to train, provide adequate PPE, post signs in contamination areas, create decontamination areas, and monitor exposure levels.

Perhaps its most damning allegation: OSHA said the company failed to require workers to change out of asbestos- and lead-contaminated clothing and gear after their shifts, thus exposing workers’ families to the hazardous materials.

Note: Renovation, demolition, and removal of materials containing hazardous substances usually generate high levels of airborne particulates. These materials not only directly threaten workers’ healths from on-site exposure, but the hazmats can be brought home and threaten families’ health, too.

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