U.S. Steel Again Exposes Workers to Asbestos Hazards: OSHA

An investigation determined seven workers were at risk in February and March of 2016 at a Pittsburgh facility.

OSHA announced it has determined that seven employees were exposed to asbestos hazards twice during the months of February and March of 2016 at a United States Steel Corp. facility in Pittsburgh.

After an employee filed a complaint, the agency identified 10 violations against U.S. Steel Corp., resulting in $170,000 in penalties. OSHA reported it was the second time since 2011 that its enforcement personnel have cited the company for exposing workers to asbestos hazards.

In February 2016 at the company's coke production facility in Pittsburgh, five workers removed and replaced packing material containing asbestos at the direction of the company, and in March 2016, OSHA found two other employees had burned and removed a rotted section of expansion pipe at the company's direction that later tested positive for asbestos.

Some of the violations include a failure to establish a regulated area and inform employees of the presence of asbestos-containing material and a failure to conduct initial employee monitoring and ensure a negative exposure assessment.

"Once again, we have found U.S. Steel Corp. failed to protect its employees from the serious risks of asbestos exposure. Breathing airborne asbestos fibers can cause lung damage that often progresses to disability and possible death," said Christopher Robinson, director of OSHA's Pittsburgh Area Office. "Given the potential danger to the health of its workers, the company must take immediate steps needed to avoid its employees’ prolonged exposure to asbestos."

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