OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents
Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.
Trade News Release Banner Image

Region 2 News Release: 08-809-NEW/BOS 2008-176
Mon., June 16, 2008
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: 617-565-2074


U.S. Labor Department's OSHA cites Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center
Proposes $110,000 in fines for improper asbestos removal and disposal, lack of safeguard

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center for alleged lack of employee safeguards and the improper removal and disposal of asbestos containing material in a closed section of the hospital during renovation work in December 2007. The Niagara Falls, N.Y., medical facility faces $110,000 in proposed fines.

OSHA's inspection, prompted by an employee complaint, found that hospital employees removed asbestos-containing surfacing material (ACM) from a steel ceiling beam without proper protective clothing, respirators and training. In addition, the material was not properly disposed, the employees' work clothes were not properly decontaminated, the work area was not monitored for asbestos levels and the employees were not informed about the asbestos-containing material.

"There was a breakdown of essential precautions before, during and after this work, and the sizable fines proposed here reflect the gravity of the hazard," said Arthur Dube, OSHA's area director in Buffalo. "The medical center's failure to supply and ensure these basic and required safeguards placed these employees at risk of debilitating illness."