Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.

Asbestos removal company provides no employee training

It's remarkable that many companies are performing asbestos removal tasks in or around the Pennsylvania area while at the same time failing to provide employees training concerning such removal. A company named Sodexho, Inc. located about 100 miles from Pittsburgh faces numerous violations concerning asbestos removal, and the Occupational Safety Health Administration (OSHA) is proposing fines in the amount of $81,000 for what occurred.

At least 12 of the violations were labeled serious by OSHA. Besides the failure to provide training, the company has also been cited for failing to provide respirators and protective clothing, failing to inform workers as to where asbestos may have been located, and a failure to train workers on the use of dust masks and respirators.

The company also faces violations of failing to provide competent individuals to supervise the cleanup project and monitor employee exposure. Sodexho employs groundskeepers, housekeepers and security workers - hardly the type of individuals that could be expected to provide experience and expertise in asbestos cleanup.

OSHA workers have real reasons for the citations it has handed out to this company. "Asbestos work poses serious safety and health risks to workers, including lung disease and other disorders," said one OSHA official.

The lung disorders that this official speaks of can include lung cancer, mesothelioma and asbestosis - all incurable diseases. It's because of the seriousness of such maladies that attorneys will work so hard in prosecuting asbestos cases for injured clients.

Officials from the company were expected to meet with individuals from OSHA to discuss this matter. Hopefully, the company will change its way of doing business as a result of such a meeting.

Source: The Republic, "OSHA fines Sodexho $81K for asbestos-removal safety violations at Alderson-Broaddus College," August 16, 2012

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