MANHATTAN – 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.
According to a media release from the U.S. Department of Labor, Custom Crushing & Company faces $193,596 in proposed penalties, and Belfor Property Restoration faces proposed penalties totaling $39,780.
Custom Crushing & Company was cited for 23 serious health violations including exposing employees to asbestos, 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,” said 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.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to help ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance.