Kyklos Bearings International has been cited for 13 serious safety violations following an assessment with inspectors from the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration. OSHA responded to a complaint in 2012, finding that Kyklos removed boilers from an Ohio location without complying with mandatory asbestos regulations. The agency has proposed fines of about $65,000. Safety violations can be costly and often lead to employee accidents and costly workers' compensation benefits being paid out.
While no injuries have yet been linked to the safety violations, it is possible that one of the plant's 850 employees could manifest negative health effects from exposure to asbestos, an insulation material known to cause cancer and other severe illnesses. If this occurs, those employees would likely be entitled to workers' compensation benefits under Ohio state law. Similarly, such individuals would potentially be able to secure damages compensating them for their injuries by filing a civil lawsuit against Kyklos.
OSHA accuses Kyklos Bearings International of failing to require workers to wear respirators when handling asbestos, not supervising the removal of the asbestos, not properly monitoring the air for asbestos content, not training employees in proper safety protocol, not providing a dedicated decontamination area and numerous other serious safety violations. OSHA cites employers for serious violations when they know about a potential hazard with a "substantial probability" of causing serious injury or death and fail to properly address it.
An OSHA official with one of the agency's Ohio offices stated that it is an employer's responsibility to properly train workers for assigned tasks and to monitor their exposure to hazardous materials.
Kyklos Bearings International has a 15-day period in which to either contest the citations with an independent body known as the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, comply with the citations and pay all ordered fines or request to meet with an OSHA official to discuss the claims.
Source: OSHA.gov, "US Labor Department's OSHA cites Kyklos Bearings International for failing to comply with asbestos removal standards at Sandusky, Ohio, plant," Scott Allen and Rhonda Burke, March 26, 2013