Over $2 Million in fines are being issued after workers were knowingly exposed to asbestos during the renovation of a former Illinois elementary school. At least eight non-English speaking workers were exposed to asbestos from floor tiles, insulation, and other materials.
Those responsible for the exposure include Joseph Kehrer, Kehrer Brothers Construction, and a Kehrer-affiliated company, D7 Roofing. It was reported that Kehrer management threatened to terminate the workers jobs if they spoke with Occupational Health and Safety Administration inspectors.
In the United States, employers are required to provide a safe and healthful workplace for employees under OSHA's laws and regulations. Joseph Kehrer and Kehrer Brothers Construction was cited for failing to:
- Provide basic personal protective equipment such as hard hats, eyewear and protective clothing.
- Create a decontamination area for employees to remove work clothing before leaving the worksite.
- Use appropriate work methods to minimize asbestos exposure, such as removing tiles intact and using wet methods to keep asbestos fibers from becoming airborne.
D7 Roofing was cited for:
- Not training workers or informing them about the presence of asbestos-containing material
- Filing to conduct inspections required by law.
All parties put the workers at risk for rare and fatal asbestos-related diseases, like mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer. These illnesses can take years or decades to develop and are often fatal.
Brayton Purcell LLP is outraged by the negligence of these employers. Have you been exposed to asbestos at work and since been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease? Our attorneys work to hold those responsible for such violations accountable for their actions. Do not hesitate to contact our offices for a free consultation, today.
Source: OSHA News Release