Baton Rouge-Based Employers Face $112,000 Fine for Asbestos-Related Charges

OSHA has cited Louisiana Health Care Consultants LLC, Dean Building Holdings, and Bob Dean Enterprises Inc. jointly for three alleged willful and 10 alleged serious violations of federal health and safety regulations, with proposed penalties totaling $112,000.

"These companies failed to follow OSHA's standards for asbestos-related projects in the construction industry," said Dean McDaniel, the agency's regional administrator in Dallas. "Employers must be committed to keeping the workplace safe and healthful to prevent injuries, illnesses, and fatalities."

The willful violations were issued for failing to provide a competent person to supervise the removal of a ceiling that contained asbestos, to provide the required respiratory equipment, and to inform workers that the worksite contained asbestos. OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with an intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

Serious violations included failing to monitor for asbestos materials, to utilize engineering controls to determine and minimize employee exposure to asbestos, to provide and ensure the use of personal protective equipment, to properly manage contaminated clothing and asbestos-containing waste, and to train employees engaged in the removal of asbestos. Serious violations are issued when there is a substantial probability that death or serious injury and/or illness could occur from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

LHCC specializes in the management and maintenance of nursing homes. Bob Dean Enterprises manages commercial and residential properties. The two companies each employ about 10 workers in Baton Rouge. The citations stemmed from work being performed at the State National Life Building in downtown Baton Rouge, which is owned by Dean Building Holdings and managed by Bob Dean Enterprises.

The companies have 15 working days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's Baton Rouge area director or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. Baton Rouge area employers and workers with questions about safety and health can call 225-298-5458 or OSHA's hotline at 800-321-6742 to report workplace accidents, fatalities, or imminent dangers.

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