The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently cited Balfour Beatty Construction LLC, a general construction contractor based in the U.K.,
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently cited 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, with 12 safety violations for asbestos exposure at a White Sands Missile Range military housing construction site. The agency began an inspection in July 2007 after receiving a referral from the New Mexico Environment Department alleging employees were removing underground concrete pipe containing asbestos cement without using appropriate protective clothing or a protective enclosure to contain the airborne asbestos. The inspection revealed that the companies failed to take appropriate action to protect employees, said Rich Tapio, OSHA’s area director in Lubbock, Texas. OSHA cited Balfour Beatty Construction, proposing $179,000 in fines, for three alleged willful and two alleged serious violations. The willful violations are for failing to assure 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.
OSHA has cited C.F. Jordan with $145,000 in proposed fines for two alleged willful and five alleged serious violations of its asbestos standards. The willful violations are for failing to conduct an assessment of asbestos operations and to provide protective clothing to employees handling asbestos. The serious violations include 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.
A willful violation is one committed with plain indifference to or intentional disregard for employee safety and health. A serious violation occurs when a substantial probability exists that death or serious physical harm could result and the employer knew or should have known of the hazard. The companies had 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director in Lubbock, or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.