The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited an Albuquerque, New Mexico hotel for multiple safety and health violations, according to KAOT 7, a local news source. An employee at the MCM Elegante Hotel said workers were not provided with safety gear and that they were exposed to asbestos.
According to OSHA's website, asbestos, which is a mineral often used in building materials, can cause those who have come in contact with it to experience scarring in their lungs, which can lead to lung cancer or even organ failure.
Hotel worker Maximon Salas said he never realized he could be exposed to asbestos while on the job. He alleged that the hotel's management did not tell him that there was a possibility that the materials he was working with when fixing ceiling lights in the bathroom could pose a threat to his safety.
MCM Management employees are denying that there is any asbestos in the hotel. But, an OSHA investigation was conducted in January.
"Because so many materials of that type put into ceilings during that time period prior to 1980 contain asbestos, we require that employers presume those materials do contain asbestos," OSHA compliance manager Robert Genoway said, according to the news station.
The MCM Elegante has said that it has made the necessary changes to ensure compliance with OSHA. The federal agency is currently in the process of reviewing the report that the hotel submitted which details the adjustments in its safety policies and building materials.
How can similar incidents be prevented?
Because asbestos is such a dangerous chemical, managers and CEOs should do all they can to prevent their workers from coming into contact with it. Safety gear, like gloves and respirators, can help ensure workers safety. Managers can also provide asbestos awareness training for employees to prevent exposure.