Asbestos Fines Levied at Military Base

The Occupational Safety and Health Organization (OSHA) has cited two construction companies with 12 safety violations regarding asbestos exposure at a military housing construction site at the federal White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, reports an article in the Occupational Health and Safety newsletter.

According to the article, Balfour Beatty Construction LLC, a general construction contractor based in the U.K., and C.F. Jordan LP, a general and utility construction contractor based in El Paso, Texas, are charged with allowing workers to allegedly remove underground concrete pipe containing asbestos from a military housing site “without using appropriate protective clothing or a protective enclosure to contain the airborne asbestos.”

“The inspection revealed that the two companies failed to take appropriate action to protect their employees,” said Rich Tapio, OSHA’s area director in Lubbock, Texas. “Employers must remain committed to keeping the workplace safe and healthful at all times.”

At this time, notes the article, Balfour Construction is facing $179,000 in fines while Jordan may be fined approximately $145,000. Balfour has been charged with “failing to ensure that C.F. Jordan, the subcontractor, was in compliance with OSHA’s asbestos standards; to conduct an assessment of asbestos operations; and to have a competent person oversee work involving asbestos. The serious violations include failing to label asbestos-containing materials and to store excavated asbestos in closed, covered containers.”

Jordan has been charged with failure to provide protective clothing to its employees as well as “failing to establish a restricted area where asbestos operations would be conducted; failing to conduct air monitoring for asbestos; allowing prohibited work practices; failing to train employees handling asbestos; and failing to provide a competent person to properly supervise the work area.”

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