OSHA personnel who followed up on a complaint and inspected a Georgia elementary school that was being demolished found that Thompson Building Wrecking Co., Inc. was knowingly exposing workers to asbestos-containing debris being moved by a skid steer loader with a grapple attachment. The debris had been allowed to accumulate on the ground.
"Although the employer was aware of the presence of asbestos-containing material and familiar with its hazards, no preventive action was taken to protect employees," said Bill Fulcher, director of OSHA's Atlanta-East Area Office.
The company has been issued four citations with proposed penalties are $63,700.
In addition to exposing workers to asbestos, citations were issued for:
- the employer's failure to conduct asbestos work, and its removal, within a regulated area to minimize exposure
- not monitoring exposure levels during removal of asbestos-containing material; and
- exposing workers to inhalation hazards from unbagged asbestos-containing material.
Thompson Building Wrecking specializes in demolition, asbestos removal and large container services. The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.