Asbestos abatement is an essential step when demolishing a building, as the release of asbestos fibers can contaminate the surrounding area. But not only can dismissing or improperly performing such a vital step compromise the health of workers and nearby residents, but it can also have severe financial repercussions. In April, a Milwaukee real estate company and contractor learned this lesson the hard way when they were hit with a heavy fine for violating asbestos regulations.
How Did These Companies Violate Asbestos Regulations?
Iowa’s Attorney General sued a Milwaukee-based real estate firm and contracting partner when they were found in violation of state asbestos regulations when demolishing a former factory. According to The Daily Reporter, the firm hired a contractor to remove asbestos from one of its properties in 2018. Before the abatement began, both parties promptly ran afoul of state regulations by neglecting to have an inspection before the asbestos removal. A worker from the site tipped off the Department of Natural Resources of potentially hazardous work conditions, and an investigation revealed even more violations:
- Broken windows that might have led to asbestos escaping the job site.
- Improper disposal of asbestos into an open dumpster inside the building.
- Not enough negative-pressure machines in the building to contain the asbestos.
- No water hookup to wet the asbestos.
- The bags of asbestos were improperly labeled and found torn open at a nearby landfill.
For these violations, the real estate company was fined $75,000, whereas the abatement contractor could be fined up to $10,000 a day for each violation of Iowa’s asbestos regulations.
How Does an Asbestos Abatement Team Avoid a Violation?
Given the devastating financial and health impact of improperly handled asbestos removal, it’s vital you find an asbestos abatement team well informed of your state’s regulations. An Inspection Is Required Before Demolition to determine the quantity and areas of contamination. Also, hiring an abatement team with AHERA accreditation will ensure they’re equipped to handle asbestos and apply the appropriate techniques to contain its spread, such as having the appropriate number of negative-pressure machines and using HEPA air filters in air-purifying equipment.
To avoid violating regulations and being hit with a hefty fine, you want to hire the best. At Fiber Control, Inc., we have 45 years of experience in our management team alone, and we are capable of dealing with mold and lead in addition to asbestos. If you are interested in scheduling an inspection of your property conducted by an expert asbestos abatement crew, contact us today.