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The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has proposed penalties of $261,890 for Monroe, Wisconsin-based medical clinic The Monroe Clinic Inc. after it allegedly failed to tell maintenance workers they were being exposed to asbestos.
The Monroe Clinic identified asbestos hazards in 2008, but did not provide workers with protective equipment as they worked on a boiler and in crawl spaces where asbestos-containing materials were present, according to a Tuesday statement from OSHA.
OSHA cited the clinic with one willful and 11 serious safety and health violations after its June inspection of the facility.
“Monroe Clinic knew its employees were working amid materials known to contain asbestos, and failed to inform them of the location of hazards and to protect them from exposure to a known carcinogen that can cause life-long health issues and possibly death,” Ann Grevenkamp, OSHA's area director in Madison, Wisconsin said in the statement. “It is imperative that employers take all known precautions to protect workers from potential exposure to any material that may contain asbestos.”
The Monroe Clinic could not be immediately reached for comment.
Employers could be facing more recordkeeping citations under a new U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration rule that states they have a continuing obligation to maintain accurate injury and illness records for five years.