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Company fined $81K for violations at Alderson-Broaddus

PHILIPPI, W.Va. -- Federal officials said Thursday they intend to fine Sodexho Inc. $81,000 for health and safety violations that occurred when workers were removing asbestos earlier this year at Alderson-Broaddus College in Philippi.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration said the violations were found during a March inspection, and 12 were labeled serious. That means the employer knew or should have known the violation created the "substantial probability'' of death or serious physical harm.

The violations included: failing to provide respirators, protective clothing and training for employees; failing to inform workers of the location and quantities of material containing asbestos; and failing to provide workers with information on how to voluntarily use dust masks and respirators.

Sodexho, based in Gaithersburg, Md., employs about 25 groundskeepers, housekeepers and security workers at Alderson-Broaddus College. It can either comply with or contest the citations.

The company didn't immediately return telephone and email messages.

Additional violations included failure to: ensure a competent person supervised the work; monitor daily employee exposure; properly dispose of ceiling tiles; and equip vacuum cleaners with HEPA filters.

"Asbestos work poses serious safety and health risks to workers, including lung disease and other disorders,'' said Prentice Cline, director of OSHA's Charleston Area Office. "Sodexho must immediately correct these violations to ensure that its employees have a safe and healthful work environment.''

Sodexho was also cited for failing to record accurate information in 300 illness and injury logs.

Alderson-Broaddus College is affiliated with the American Baptist Churches USA, and the West Virginia Baptist Convention. Enrollment is surging this fall as the school adds 10 sports over two years. The new 400-member freshman class includes about 120 football players.


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