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Renovation firms face fines for exposing employees to asbestos

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The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited and proposed $112,000 in total fines against three Texas commercial real estate services companies for exposing workers to asbestos at a residential apartment construction worksite in San Antonio.

FBZ Broadway L.P., One Eighty Construction Inc. and Roscoe Properties Inc., all owned by Jason Berkowitz and based in Austin, Texas, were cited by the agency last week, OSHA said Thursday in a statement.

FBZ and Roscoe were cited for one willful violation for failing to determine the location and quantity of asbestos — a violation FBZ was previously cited for in April, according to the statement. OSHA proposed a $14,000 penalty against FBZ and a $63,000 fine against Roscoe, according to the citations.

One Eighty was cited for one willful violation for failing to ensure that workers followed asbestos removal practices and issued a $35,000 fine.

“This commercial building renovator is responsible for protecting workers from asbestos hazards and failed to do so despite previous citations for asbestos exposure,” Alejandro Porter, OSHA's area director in San Antonio, said in the statement. “There is simply no excuse for continuing to expose workers to this danger. Exposure to asbestos can lead to lung disease and cancer years after initial exposure.”

Representatives for the companies could not be reached immediately for comment.