Asbestos Consultant Fined

An asbestos consultant who was hired by the Muncie, Indiana school district to oversee asbestos concerns during renovations of a local high school has been fined for violations of the state’s Occupational Health and Safety Act.

According to an article in the Muncie Star Press, ACM & Environmental Services, Indianapolis, has been accused of committing eight “serious violations” last year during the renovation of Central High School.

Reports filed in regards to the incident indicate that the alleged violations are as follows:

• Employees performed spot abatement of spray-on fireproofing without using
respirators.

• No written respiratory protection program for employees who voluntarily wore
full-face, tight-fitting respirators to protect against asbestos exposure.

• Employees performed spot abatement of asbestos-containing material without
establishing a regulated area.

• The wrong kind of monitoring was done when employees cleaned up spray-on
fireproofing that had fallen to the floor. Sampling and analysis was not done
according to approved methodology.

• Employees scraped sprayed-on fireproofing off of the ceiling and I beams
without using plastic dropcloths on the floor.

• Untrained employees scraped small spots of spray-on fireproofing off of the
ceiling and I beams.

• Basic information about respirators was not provided to employees who
voluntarily wore respirators.

Sean Keefer, spokesman for the Indiana Department of Labor, said ACM was expected to sign an expedited informal settlement agreement (EISA) that calls for the proposed penalty to be lowered to $975.

Sater Electric, Daleville, the project’s mechanical-electrical contractor, already has signed an EISA to resolve eight separate serious violations it was accused of committing while assisting with the job at Central. Sater’s alleged violations included “disturbing spray-on fireproofing without establishing a regulated area, failure to reduce dust emissions, lack of dropcloths and lack of respirators, safety glasses, protective clothing and training for employee.” The contractor paid a penalty of $796.25.

“We are no longer working in areas designated by the owner that contains asbestos and we will not return to any areas until written proof is provided that a competent person has conducted an exposure assessment,” Jack Sater wrote in the EISA.

School Supt. Marlin Creasy has said there was no reason to believe students were exposed to asbestos during the renovations.

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