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Region 2 News Release
09-1468-NEW/BOS 2009-407
Mon., Nov. 30, 2009
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: 617-565-2074

US Labor Department's OSHA proposes $484,000 in penalties against Cambria Contracting Inc. for asbestos hazards at Buffalo, NY, jobsite

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) today issued citations to Cambria Contracting Inc. for 11 alleged willful violations of the OSHA construction asbestos standard for failing to train and protect its workers at a Buffalo jobsite. The Lockport, N.Y., demolition contractor faces a total of $484,000 in proposed penalties.

"These significant penalties reflect the fact that this employer, an asbestos contractor with extensive knowledge of the OSHA standards that govern asbestos removal and handling, chose not to follow these standards and put its workers, including young, inexperienced college students, in harm's way," said acting Assistant Secretary for OSHA Jordan Barab.

OSHA found that several Cambria Contracting workers, who were cleaning up debris at the former AM&A department store warehouse on Washington Avenue, had not been trained in asbestos hazards and how to protect themselves. The workers also lacked proper respirators and protective clothing, and had not been informed of the presence of asbestos at the site. In addition, the employer failed to determine the asbestos exposure level and to establish a regulated work area for asbestos removal and handling. It also did not use vacuums with HEPA filters to collect debris but used methods to move debris with asbestos-containing material that typically can cause asbestos to be released into the air.

OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with plain indifference to or intentional disregard for worker safety and health.

"This employer knew that training and other safeguards, which are well-