$2,000,000 fines are very rare, but they do happen as this example clearly shows…
Illinois construction companies exposed foreign-born workers to known asbestos hazards, now face nearly $2 million in fines
Employees removing floor tiles, insulation and other materials from a former elementary school were exposed to deadly asbestos fibers even though their employers knew of the dangers. OSHA found that Joseph Kehrer, Kehrer Brothers Construction and a Kehrer-affiliated company, D7 Roofing, which employed some of the workers, violated numerous OSHA health standards related to the dangers of asbestos. Many of the workers came to the U.S. to work for Kehrer under the provisions of the H-2B visa program.
“Kehrer Brothers Construction brought non-English speaking workers to the U.S. and knowingly exposed them to asbestos,” said Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health. “This is outrageous, illegal behavior.”
OSHA issued Kehrer Brothers and Joseph Kehrer $1,792,000 in penalties for willfully exposing at least eight workers to asbestos and placed the company in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program. OSHA also cited D7 Roofing $147,000 for not training the workers or informing them about the presence of asbestos-containing material and for failing to conduct inspections as required by law. For more information, see the news release.