OSHA Cites Roofers for Asbestos

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 2015


Federal workplace safety authorities have cited two Chicago area contractors for exposing workers to dangerous asbestos hazards.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Continental Contractors 2000 Inc., of Niles, and its subcontractor, Local Roofing Inc., of Gurnee, for 20 total serious violations at a commercial roof replacement project in Chicago.

Proposed fines totaled $70,110.

"Asbestos exposure can cause chronic lung disease and cancer,” said Angeline Loftus, OSHA's area director for the Chicago North office in Des Plaines.

“No worker should be exposed to this potentially life-ending substance without being trained and provided protective equipment.”

Serious Citations

OSHA cited Continental Contractors for 11 alleged serious violations, carrying proposed penalties of $21,600.

Local Roofing, which had been subcontracted to demolish, remove and replace the building’s roofing system, was hit with 11 alleged serious violations and fines totalling $48,510.

The allegations include the failure to:

  • Conduct an exposure assessment for asbestos;
  • Establish a respiratory protection program;
  • Use engineering controls such as HEPA vacuum and dry sweeping to clean up materials likely containing asbestos;
  • Train workers on asbestos hazards; and
  • Provide personal protective clothing.

OSHA Records

A review of OSHA’s database failed to show any recent cases against Continental Contractors.

Local Roofing had a previous case listed in OSHA records. In May 2013, the company was fined $4,900 for a serious, fall protection hazard. The company informally settled the case for $2,940, OSHA reported.

Continental Contractors does not have a website. Local Roofing’s website indicates the company was founded in 1952. The company serves industrial, commercial and residential roofing customers in northern Illinois.

The companies did not immediately respond Monday (Nov. 2) to requests for comment on the case.

Editor's Note: The attorney for Local Roofing responded Wednesday (Nov. 4), commenting that the company has reached an informal settlement with the agency to dismiss a majority of the citations. The company has further agreed to conduct additional employee training regarding potential asbestos containing materials.

   

Tagged categories: Asbestos; Building Envelope; Citations; Commercial / Architectural; Enforcement; Maintenance programs; North America; OSHA; Roofing contractors

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