- The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) has cited Detroit contractor DMC Consultants, Inc., with 12 willful or serious violations, mostly related to asbestos removal, and fined the company $265,200, Crain’s Detroit Business reported.
- MIOSHA said a DMC employee tipped the agency off that DMC did not monitor for asbestos exposure during demolition and failed to use proper protective and decontamination measures required for the safety of employees.
- MIOSHA cited DMC for a total of 14 violations at two duplex projects in the Detroit area, but DMC official Mike Chaudhary claims the company has not received official notification of the fine and plans to contest the violations. "We have never had even a single violation to date," Chaudhary told Crain's. "It is very, very serious. It has never happened in our history, so we have to go to the depth of it and figure out."
MIOSHA claims that DMC did not use proper notification procedures about the presence of asbestos in its work areas. Asbestos exposure has been linked to lung cancer, mesothelioma and other lung and respiratory conditions and can be found in building materials like insulation, flooring and roofing shingles.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, there is no such thing as a "safe" level of asbestos exposure, and just a few days of exposure has caused mesothelioma in humans. Employers are required to protect workers by establishing regulated areas, controlling work practices and instituting controls to reduce levels of airborne asbestos fibers.
Earlier this year, that attention to asbestos violations also led OSHA to fine Illinois-based Joseph Kehrer and Kehrer Brothers Construction $1.79 million for "willfully exposing" eight workers to asbestos. Large government penalties like the Kehrer fine and DMC penalty are designed to make an example out of severe offenders and prevent other contractors from committing the same violations.