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OSHA Proposes Penalties Of $484,000 Against Cambria Contracting Inc. For Asbestos Hazards

OSHA cited Cambria Contracting Inc. for 11 alleged willful violations of the standards of OSHA for failing to protect and train its workers at a Buffalo jobsite. The Lockport, N.Y., demolition contractor is charged a total of 484,000 as proposed in penalties.

“These significant penalties reflect the fact that this employer, an asbestos contractor with extensive knowledge of the OSHA standards that govern asbestos removal and handling, chose not to follow these standards and put its workers, including young, inexperienced college students, in harm’s way,” said Jordan Barab, the Deputy Assistant Secretary for OSHA.

OSHA found in inspection that many Cambria Contracting workers, who were cleaning up debris at former AM$A department store on Washington Avenue were not trained to in asbestos hazards and how to protect themselves. The workers also lacked protective clothing and proper respirators, and had not been informed of the presence of asbestos at the site. To its addition, the employer failed to determine the exposure level of asbestos and to establish a regulated work area for asbestos removal and handling. It also did not use vacuums with HEPA filters for collecting debris.

A willful violation as defined by OSHA as one committed with plain indifference to or intentional disregard for the safety and health of a worker. “This employer knew that training and other safeguards, which are well-known in the industry, were required, yet chose not to provide them,” said OSHA’s New York regional administrator, Robert Kulick. “That is unacceptable and needlessly placed the health of these workers at risk.”