US Department of Labor finds Leawood contractor continues to expose workers to asbestos, other hazards at historic Kansas City site

KANSAS CITY, MO – A Leawood contractor rehabbing the Firestone, Shankman and Michaelson buildings in Kansas City’s historic Troost commercial district continues to expose its workers to asbestos and other workplace hazards, a June 29, 2021, federal safety and health investigation has found.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Compass Resources LLC for failing to follow federal respiratory protection requirements, provide drinking water and hygiene facilities, and remove damaged electrical cords. OSHA issued one repeat violation and eight serious violations, proposed $223,329 in penalties, and issued a hazard alert letter for asbestos and heat stress exposure.

OSHA issues a Hazard Alert Letter to notify an employer of a unsafe condition when the agency cannot prove a Section 5(a)(1) violation.

Inspections in November 2018, December 2020 and January 2021 led to citations for inadequate personal protective equipment, asbestos and lead exposure, electrical hazards, and inadequate safety programs. The department has referred Compass Resources to collections for non-payment of more than $186,337 in prior penalties.

“This employer’s continual disregard for required safety measures is putting workers at risk for serious health issues,” said OSHA Area Director Karena Lorek in Kansas City, Missouri. “Breathing asbestos fibers can expose workers to permanent lung damage, cancer and other diseases. OSHA will hold employers responsible when they ignore federal safety regulations put in place to protect the safety and health of workers.”

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Learn more about asbestos and heat exposure.

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