Please note: As of January 20, 2017, information in some news releases may be out of date or not reflect current policies.
Settlement with US Labor Department commits developer to enhance safeguards for employees renovating Harlem Valley Psychiatric Center
NEW YORK – The U.S. Department of Labor has reached a settlement agreement with Dover Greens LLC, formerly known as Olivet Management LLC, which commits the real estate development and management company to provide and maintain enhanced safeguards for workers renovating the former Harlem Valley Psychiatric Center in Dover Plains.
The department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Olivet Management on March 31, 2014, for dozens of violations after the developer exposed its own employees and employees of 13 contractors to lead and asbestos hazards during renovation and cleanup operations. By failing to implement preventative measures such as air sampling, respiratory protection, and dust control, the Wingdale-based company may have put some of these employees at risk for the long-term neurological and respiratory problems caused by unsafe lead and asbestos exposure.
“Workers and their families were exposed to lead and asbestos and their attendant health hazards due to Olivet Management’s failure to provide them with basic, required safeguards. This settlement obligates the company to do things correctly this time and take additional steps to ensure safe and healthful working conditions, or face the full original fine of $2.3 million,” said Robert Kulick, OSHA’s regional administrator in New York.
“The terms of the settlement are stringent and comprehensive. They seek to ensure that the company provides the project’s employees with safe and healthful working conditions at all times. We are prepared to take appropriate action to escalate penalties should it fail to live up to its commitments,” said Jeffrey Rogoff, the regional solicitor of labor in New York.
The settlement requires Dover Greens to:
- Select and retain a general contractor experienced in a project of this type and magnitude, and as importantly, familiar with lead and asbestos hazards on a construction site, including how to control those and other hazards during the renovation.
- Retain a qualified safety-consulting firm to monitor the project, and have a safety consultant on site when work is being performed.
- Ensure that all contractors and subcontractors are trained and competent to perform their jobs, that their onsite supervisors and foremen have completed the OSHA 30-hour course before beginning work, and that they implement a site-specific health and safety program.
- Ensure that contractors whose employees may come in contact with lead or asbestos have documented training and experience in adhering to OSHA lead and asbestos standards.
- Not oppose workers compensation claims by employees for illnesses resulting from lead or asbestos exposure.
- Provide site workers with notice in English, Spanish and Korean of their rights to bring claims under the state workers compensation program.
The settlement allows Dover Greens to pay $700,000 in fines over a 10-year period. The remaining balance of $1.659 million originally proposed is held in abeyance and becomes payable immediately if the company fails to comply with the specific terms of the settlement. Olivet Management LLC changed its name to Dover Greens LLC in December 2015.
The full settlement can be viewed here.
The original inspection was conducted by OSHA’s Albany Area Office while the settlement was negotiated by attorneys in the Labor Department’s Regional Office of the Solicitor.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report amputations, eye loss, workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA’s toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency’s Albany Area Office at 518-464-4338.