Cleanup company faces fine after Schenectady GE workers sickened by mercury

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (AP) — Federal investigators say a hazardous material cleanup company faces a $142,000 fine after several workers suffered mercury poisoning during work at General Electric’s main campus in Schenectady.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration says Wednesday that Environmental Remediation Services of Rotterdam didn’t provide proper safeguards to workers removing mercury from a building at GE’s 640-acre plant. The site is on the state’s Superfund priority cleanup list.

An OSHA investigation launched in March found several employees inhaled mercury vapor or absorbed liquid mercury through their skin. OSHA’s biological monitoring confirmed symptoms of mercury poisoning, which can include neurological impairment, fever, fatigue and memory loss.

Environmental Remediation Services has 15 days to respond to the OSHA action.

The company didn’t immediately respond to a media request for comment Wednesday.

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