The United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) issued a January 3rd news release alleging that a Monroe, Wisconsin medical clinic violated federal workplace health standards related to asbestos.
On December 21, 2016 OSHA cited The Monroe Clinic Inc. (“Monroe”) with one willful and 11 serious safety and health violations.
OSHA states that an inspection of the facility identified violations that allegedly include failure to:
- Provide basic personal protective equipment such as protective clothing
- Create a decontamination area for employees to remove protective clothing before leaving the worksite
- Use appropriate work methods to minimize asbestos exposure, such as using wet methods to keep asbestos fibers from becoming airborne and using local exhaust ventilation
- Provide respiratory protection
- Conduct exposure assessments
- Provide medical surveillance to monitor potential exposure
- Post signage on the boiler room and in other locations warning of known asbestos containing material
- Inform workers on the location and use of hazardous chemicals in the facility
The investigation allegedly determined that maintenance employees disturbed asbestos while conducting maintenance tasks, repairs and installation and removal of materials as work was conducted on the boiler and in crawl spaces, near ceiling tiles and in other areas where asbestos containing materials were identified.
OSHA is proposing to assess $261,890 in penalties.
Monroe has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.