Two Kansas City-based companies working on the Hale Library restoration have been cited by OSHA under the Department of Labor for not complying with asbestos removal standards.
Custom Crushing & Company was cited for 23 health violations, including failure to educate workers on asbestos hazards or provide protective clothing and respiratory protection to employees. They face a proposed penalty of $193,000.
Belfor Property Restoration was cited for three violations, including failure to inform the University and library employees of the location and quantity of material believed to contain asbestos. They face a proposed penalty of nearly $40,000.
Asbestos was commonly used in building insulation in the past, eventually being linked to lung cancer, mesothelioma and other life-threatening illnesses. Though OSHA has limits on the number of acceptable fibers per cubic meter of air, the U.S. has no blanket ban on the use of asbestos. Asbestos typically becomes a risk when it’s made airborne after being disturbed.
The companies have 15 days to comply, request an informal conference with the OSHA area director, or contest the findings before OSHA’s independent review commission.