Monday, August 31, 2015

OSHA Proposes $1.7 Million Fine For Worker Asbestos Exposure

St. Louis area contractors Kehrer Brothers Construction and its affiliate D7 Roofing were investigated by OSHA for exposing Mexican H-2B visa temporary workers to asbestos hazards during renovation of a former school building in Okawville, Illinois. Kehrer was cited for 16 egregious violations, 9 willful violations, and 6 serious violations for failing to warn the workers of asbestos hazards, failing to provide proper training in asbestos remediation, and failing to provide proper protective equipment, and for threatening to fire workers who spoke with OSHA investigators.

According to Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health David Michaels, the workers were at the mercy of their employer, who helped them obtain temporary work visas, arranged their housing, and drove them back and forth to the project site: “They spoke no English … They were completely at his mercy,” Michaels said. Kehrer affiliate D7 was also cited for 1 serious and 2 willful violations in the investigation.
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