OSHA: Employees at nursing home renovation exposed to asbestos, carbon monoxide

Poynette-based company faces fines for health,...
OSHA: Employees at nursing home renovation exposed to asbestos, carbon monoxide

A Poynette-based company faces more than $240,000 in fines after officials from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration found 13 health and safety violations relating to the company’s work, according to a news release.

OSHA officials said inspectors responded on April 19 to a nursing home under renovation in New Glarus after five employees were sickened from carbon monoxide exposure. The inspectors found Poynette-based A&A Environmental Inc. failed to measure carbon monoxide exposure for the workers, exposing them to carbon monoxide, asbestos and other hazards, according to the release.

OSHA determined four of the 13 violations were willful, and nine were serious, officials said.

OSHA found that workers’ exposure exceeded 50 parts per million over an eight-hour time-weighted average, and that the company failed to implement engineering controls to reduce employee exposure, according to the release.

A&A faces up to $243,716 in fines for the following citations:

Provide a separate room for asbestos containment equipment.
Create a decontamination area with a separate area for employees to shower and remove work clothing before leaving the worksite.
Ensure employees did not consume beverages inside an asbestos containment area.
Monitor work sites for carbon monoxide exposure.
Train workers on carbon monoxide hazards.
Smoke testing the containment area and glove bags used to contain asbestos.
Provide ground fault circuit interrupters inside containment areas where wet techniques are used for asbestos removal.
Provide medical evaluation and fit-testing for employees required to use respirators.

“What’s important is that A&A Environmental correct these violations and that moving forward in any jobs that they are insuring that they are protecting the safety and the health of their employees,” OSHA Area Director Ann Grevenkamp said.

The company has 15 days after the citations are filed to contest the claims before they are required to pay the penalties.

No employees or residents at the nursing home, The New Glarus Home, were affected by the exposure, the home’s executive director, Eric Francois, said.