New York developer will pay $700K for exposing workers to lead, asbestos hazards
Posted April 8, 2016
The DOL has reached a settlement agreement with a New York real estate development and management company to provide and maintain enhanced safeguards for workers renovating a facility in Dover Plains.
OSHA cited the company on March 31, 2014, for dozens of violations after the agency found that the developer exposed its own employees and employees of 13 contractors to lead and asbestos hazards during renovation and cleanup operations. By failing to implement preventative measures such as air sampling, respiratory protection, and dust control, the company may have put some of these employees at risk for the long-term neurological and respiratory problems caused by unsafe lead and asbestos exposure.
The settlement requires the company to:
- Select and retain a general contractor experienced in a project of this type and magnitude, and as importantly, familiar with lead and asbestos hazards on a construction site, including how to control those and other hazards during the renovation.
- Retain a qualified safety-consulting firm to monitor the project, and have a safety consultant on site when work is being performed.
- Ensure that all contractors and subcontractors are trained and competent to perform their jobs, that their onsite supervisors and foremen have completed the OSHA 30-hour course before beginning work, and that they implement a site-specific health and safety program.
- Ensure that contractors whose employees may come in contact with lead or asbestos have documented training and experience in adhering to OSHA lead and asbestos standards.
- Not oppose workers compensation claims by employees for illnesses resulting from lead or asbestos exposure.
- Provide site workers with notice in English, Spanish, and Korean of their rights to bring claims under the state workers compensation program.
The settlement allows the company to pay $700,000 in fines over a 10-year period. The remaining balance of $1.659 million originally proposed is held in abeyance and becomes payable immediately if the company fails to comply with the specific terms of the settlement.
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