OSHA finds USPS exposed workers to asbestos hazards at Indiana facility; proposes more than $49K in fines

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is seeking more than $49,000 in fines from the US Postal Service for repeatedly failing to keep employees safe from asbestos contamination at its West Baden Springs Indiana facility:

Employer name: U.S. Postal Service
8182 State Road 56
West Baden Springs, Indiana

Citations issued: July 29, 2016

oshaInvestigation findings: The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration‘s Indianapolis Area Office has cited the West Baden Springs’ postal facility for four repeatedviolations. Acting on a complaint alleging safety concerns there, inspectors began an investigation on June 3, 2016, and found violations of OSHA’s asbestos protection standards.

OSHA found USPS failed to:

  • Provide awareness training for employees that worked around broken mastic and tile contained asbestos.
  • Promptly clean up spills and releases of presumed asbestos containing material.
  • Ensure the use of dry sweeping to clean up asbestos containing materials.
  • Label areas with materials identified as containing asbestos.

Quote: “Until the early 1980s, asbestos – now, a known carcinogen – was used commonly in building materials such as floor tiles. Employers in workplaces with materials known to contain asbestos must train workers to take precautions when a spill or scratched tile creates the potential for a release of asbestos fibers,” said Vanessa Martin, OSHA’s area director in Indianapolis.

Proposed Penalties: $49,720.

View Citations here.

To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report amputations, eye loss, workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA’s toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency’s Indianapolis Area Office at (317) 226-7299.

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Source: 2016 – 08/08/2016 – OSHA finds US Postal facility exposed workers to asbestos hazards; agency proposes more than $49K in fines