OSHA Fines Central Point for Violations of Asbestos Demolition Procedures

Procedures Violated OSHA Employee Safety Guidelines

Central Point, OR - After investigating claims by a city employee that a planned housing demolition exposed work crews to asbestos, OSHA found the city failed to adequately protect its workers from possible asbestos exposure. With trace amounts of asbestos found on small scraps of debris at the demolition site, the city was cited for a number of procedural violations and fined $815.

Public Works Director Bob Pierce said city officials reviewed rules for the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and OSHA and found that the site was exempt from most precautions under DEQ standards. The procedures violated were OSHA employee guidelines for employee safety, ranging from training requirements for asbestos handling to special respirators and clothing required for working on structures built before 1980.

Asbestos Citations Issued to Central Point, Oregon

Three multipart citations were issued to the city, included the following violations:

  • The first citation covered:
    • not informing employees of the potential presence of asbestos;
    • not verifying the absence of asbestos in a 100-year-old structure;
    • not posting warning signs at the work site;
    • not using wetting down methods;
    • not removing tiles in a manner to contain potential asbestos materials.
  • The second citation covered:
    • not providing adequate training to employees on the work site;
    • not providing clothing, gloves, foot covering and respirators to workers handling materials on the site. Respirators were provided, but were not the right kind.
  • The third citation was for not testing properly for asbestos.

"Despite no asbestos being found on the site, it doesn't mean they followed all the rules," said Oregon OSHA spokesperson Melanie Mesaros.

The dangers of asbestos exposure to the public at large can be very serious without proper precautions. The following related articles cover examples of illegal asbestos removal:

  • Illegal Asbestos Removal & EPA Violations Land California Man in Prison
  • St. Louis Cited for Illegal Asbestos Removal
  • Union Pacific Settles Suit for Incorrect Asbestos Removal

Asbestos exposure is not something to be taken lightly. The Oregon branch of OSHA was correct in citing the city of Central Point as there is significant risk posed to city employees and the public at large if asbestos is mishandled. Brayton Purcell's asbestos andmesothelioma attorneys have been protecting the legal rights of workers that have developed diseases from asbestos exposure for over 25 years. With offices in California, Portland, Oregon and Salt Lake City, Utah, we encourage you to contact us with your legal questions.