White Sands Missile Range Contractors Face $324,000 in Penalties

OSHA has cited Balfour Beatty Construction LLC, a general construction contractor based in the U.K., and C.F. Jordan LP, a general and utility construction contractor based in El Paso, Texas, with 12 safety violations for asbestos exposure at a military housing construction site at the federal White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. OSHA began an inspection July 21 after receiving a referral from the New Mexico Environment Department alleging employees were removing underground concrete pipe containing asbestos from a military housing site without using appropriate protective clothing or a protective enclosure to contain the airborne asbestos.

"The inspection revealed that the two companies failed to take appropriate action to protect their employees," said Rich Tapio, OSHA's area director in Lubbock, Texas. "Employers must remain committed to keeping the workplace safe and healthful at all times."

OSHA has cited Balfour, proposing $179,000 in fines, for three alleged willful and two alleged serious violations. The willful violations are for failing to ensure that C.F. Jordan, the subcontractor, was in compliance with OSHA's asbestos standards; to conduct an assessment of asbestos operations; and to have a competent person oversee work involving asbestos. The serious violations include failing to label asbestos-containing materials and to store excavated asbestos in closed, covered containers.

C.F. Jordan faces $145,000 in proposed fines for two alleged willful and five alleged serious violations of its asbestos standards. The willful violations are for failing to conduct an assessment of asbestos operations and to provide protective clothing to employees handling asbestos. The serious violations include failing to establish a restricted area where asbestos operations would be conducted; failing to conduct air monitoring for asbestos; allowing prohibited work practices; failing to train employees handling asbestos; and failing to provide a competent person to properly supervise the work area.

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