Hawaii regulators have cited Hale Mahaolu for several asbestos violations and propose to fine the company more than $155,000 for putting workers and the public at risk of asbestos exposure.
Hale Mahaolu is a nonprofit corporation in Maui that owns and manages affordable housing for elders and families. According to a press release from the state’s Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DLIR), the violations were related to work with asbestos-containing material (ACM) in the Lahaina Surf Complex between January and June 2013.
Hale Mahaolu failed to notify workers of the presence of asbestos or to monitor air quality during the work even though the company knew that some of the units it managed held asbestos-containing materials, according to the DLIR.
Asbestos was once added to building materials to strengthen them and to make them more resistant to fire and heat. However, asbestos is now known to be a toxic substance. Exposure to asbestos increases the risk of developing serious diseases such as mesothelioma, a rare and deadly cancer.
The use of asbestos has declined as awareness of its health dangers emerged during since the 1970s. However, asbestos-containing materials are still present in many older buildings today.
The DLIR cited Hale Mahaolu for failing to monitor air quality during work with materials containing asbestos and for its failure to inform contractors of the asbestos. The company was also cited for a serious violation because it failed to train its own employees on safety precautions while working with materials that contain asbestos.
A serious violation is found when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known about.
Hale Mahaolu has contested the state’s citations.
If you or a loved one has been exposed to asbestos in the past and later diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may be eligible for financial compensation. Contact Sokolove Law today for a free case evaluation.