Thursday, May 26, 2011

OSHA Fines Employer with More than $1M for Exposing Workers to Asbestos

What’s the price of safety?

For the US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), safety is a priceless possession and must be a major concern in the workplace. That is why the agency immediately issued penalties amounting to about $1, 247,400 to Illinois-based AMD Industries Inc. after it was found that the company had exposed five workers to cancer-causing asbestos in December 2010.
OSHA also issued 19 willful and eight serious health citations to the company after an inspection at its facilities, as recommended by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.

According to a statement released in its website, OSHA investigators found that the company had an asbestos removal project using unprotected and untrained workers. The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency informed the Illinois Attorney General’s Office of the illegal removal and an action was enforced.
It was found later that the workers were exposed to materials containing about 20 to 50 percent asbestos.

OSHA investigators said the company failed to protect the health and safety of the workers when they sent them out to work without protective respirators or warned them of the risks to their health.

Under the law, a willful violation exists when there is either “an intentional disregard for the requirements of the law or plain indifference to employee health and safety”.

Similarly, a serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability of death or serious physical harm that could result from a hazard that the employer knew or should have known.

If you have issues involving workplace safety or work-related injuries, you can consult with our experienced Los Angeles employment and labor attorneys. Call us at 866-325-4529 and avail of our free case analysis