OSHA Inspector Allegedly Dies From Asbestos Exposure

    OSHA / Workplace Safety ExpertThis case involves an OSHA boiler inspector who worked on these boilers for over 30 years. The inspector allegedly died as a result of repeated exposure to asbestos in the boilers he was inspecting. An expert in OSHA boiler inspection and general workplace safety was sought to explain how a typical boiler inspection is conducted and discuss the possible substances this man could have come in contact with during inspection, such as refractory mud, block insulation, and gaskets, among others.

    Question(s) For Expert Witness

    • 1. Please describe your experience inspecting boilers according to OSHA standards.
    • 2. What process does an inspector typically follow when conducting these inspections?
    • 3. What items and substances might an inspector come in contact with?

    Expert Witness Response E-013135

    I am a qualified NBIC boiler inspector and I currently provide boiler certificate inspection services for the US government. I’m also a professional engineer with extensive boiler design, construction, inspection, and repair experience. I was previously employed by a major boiler manufacturer, an insurance company, and an expert witness forensics firm. Boilers are inspected to jurisdictional requirements, based upon the national board of boiler and pressure vessel inspection code and ASME. I have been qualified by the national board to perform certificate inspections and currently conduct them for many groups. Each boiler installed in public use buildings requires an annual inspection to maintain its operating certificates. Hot water heating boilers require an external inspection. Larger boilers require both an internal and external inspection annually. Internal inspections require boiler entrance. There is an extensive checklist of items that require inspection. Depending upon the age of the boiler, asbestos may have been used for insulation and gasketing. Older boilers with asbestos must have it either removed or encapsulated. Encapsulation is legal, but must be maintained and can easily be damaged during use or inspection. I’ve provided testimony in several deposition and trial cases for matters concerning inspection activities.

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