When OSHA wants to make a statement with a large fine, it can ratchet up the amount by multiplying violations by the number of employees. Such is the case in a recent fine involving a Midwest facility.
OSHA has fined AMD Industries of Cicero, IL, $1,247,400 for allowing five unprotected and untrained workers to remove asbestos-containing materials from its facility. Asbestos is known to cause cancer.
The bulk of the fine, $945,000, comes from 15 willful citations for failure to provide each of the five employees with:
- proper training
- protective clothing, and
Instead of $189,000 in fines, the amount got multiplied by the number of employees (five).
AMD also faces four additional willful violations for failure to identify the location of asbestos, monitor airborne concentrations of asbestos, use high-efficiency particulate air vacuums to control dust and promptly dispose of asbestos-containing material.
Eight serious violations include failing to implement a respirator program.
OSHA investigators found AMD had commissioned a safety audit of its Cicero facility in 2002 which uncovered the presence of asbestos-containing materials on boilers, heating units and pipes. Even though it knew this, the company used in-house, untrained workers to remove the materials.