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York business fined $490,000 for failure to properly protect workers removing asbestos

YORK, PA (WPMT)- York City based First Capital Insulation, Inc. faces a $490,000 penalty from OSHA for improperly protecting three of its workers from exposure ...
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YORK, PA (WPMT)- York City based First Capital Insulation, Inc. faces a $490,000 penalty from OSHA for improperly protecting three of its workers from exposure to asbestos.  OSHA issued a citation on Monday, April 20.

Regular exposure to asbestos can cause serious respiratory illness and several forms of cancer.  OSHA inspectors say First Capital failed to properly protect the workers while they were removing thermal pipe insulation at an unoccupied home on N. 2nd Street in Harrisburg. OSHA began inspecting the work site in October 2014 until April 16, 2015.

First Capital was penalized for seven willful violations, including allowing workers to remove asbestos improperly, failing to make sure their employees’ respirators fit correctly and not decontaminating employees and their clothing before leaving the work site.

The clothing of workers who handle asbestos creates a significant risk for secondary exposure. Its microscopic particles can easily attach to hair, skin and clothes. If the worker and his clothing are not properly cleaned before leaving the work site, others with whom the worker has contact risk secondary exposure. A worker who fails to change out of asbestos-contaminated clothing before returning home can leave fibers embedded in couches, chairs, carpets, beds and other furniture.

OSHA requires employers to treat thermal system insulation and surfacing material found in buildings constructed before and in 1980 as asbestos, unless they can prove that the material is free of asbestos. In this inspection, the building was built in 1928, and the company made no attempt to test the removed materials.

To read the citations, visit http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/FirstCapitalInsulationInc_1002754_0420_15.pdf.