According to OSHA.gov, an Illinois construction companies, manager faces nearly $2M in fines for exposing workers to known asbestos hazards. Workers removing floor tiles, insulation, and other materials at what was once an elementary school, were unaware they were being exposed to deadly asbestos fibers.
The news release states that “an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has found that Joseph Kehrer, Kehrer Brothers Construction and a Kehrer-affiliated company, D7 Roofing, which employed some of the workers, violated numerous OSHA health standards related to the dangers of asbestos. Kehrer Brothers and Joseph Kehrer face $1,792,000 in penalties for willfully exposing at least eight workers to asbestos.”
Many of the workers for the Kehrer companies came to the U.S. “under provisions of the H-2B visa program that allows companies to hire foreign workers temporarily. The investigation found the Kehrer management threatened some workers with termination if they spoke with OSHA inspectors.”
In its citations, OSHA alleges that Kehrer and Kehrer Brothers Construction failed to:
• Provide basic personal protective equipment such as hard hats, eyewear and protective clothing.
• Create a decontamination area for employees to remove work clothing before leaving the worksite.
• Use appropriate work methods to minimize asbestos exposure, such as removing tiles intact and using wet methods to keep asbestos fibers from becoming airborne.
Asbestos abatement is performed commonly in older homes and historic structures. Asbestos abatement performed under strict conditions by a skilled contractor can be quite effective; thereby removing the health hazards associated with asbestos exposure, such as asbestosis, mesothelioma and lung cancer. If you or a friend have been diagnosed with asbestosis, lung cancer or mesothelioma, please call us at 1(800)995-6991 for a free consultation.