Snyder Environmental, Our House Join To Match Jobs, Training

by Kate Knable  on Monday, Dec. 3, 2012 12:00 am  

Due to “pretty rigorous insurance requirements, it’s difficult to subcontract,” Carter said. And the work, which involves demolition inside or on buildings as well as careful removal of floor tiles, adhesives, roofing, insulation and other building materials that contain asbestos fibers, isn’t easy. “I think it is very hard work,” Carter said.

In addition, the federal government highly regulates asbestos removal due to health risks associated with breathing in the fibers, he said.

Therefore, workers who remove and dispose of asbestos are required to be certified by the state to do the work, which involves wearing protective gear and tearing out asbestos materials in spaces shrouded in plastic, Carter said. Companies that work with asbestos and other environmental hazards often have to pay to train employees for working with such environmental hazards.

Recently, Snyder Environmental had a staff of 76, and more than half of those employees were asbestos abatement workers, Carter said. Carter bought Snyder Environmental five years ago.

“If we hire like we have hired in the past, hiring 30 [certified workers] a year would not be uncommon,” Carter said.

Carter’s company has stayed busy with asbestos work. Building materials containing asbestos were used as late as the 1990s in the U.S., and other countries are just beginning to understand and deal with the health risks, he said.

“There are few companies across the U.S. that do asbestos abatement,” Carter said. Even fewer do asbestos abatement at sea, he said. In January, Snyder Environmental is sending an asbestos crew to work on an oil storage facility off the coast of Nigeria.

“No telling where it’ll take us,” Carter said.

Darron Reed, 42, and Chuck Wilks, 54, were among five Our House clients who accepted demolition jobs with Snyder in October. Both are interested in advancing their careers and earning more money by taking advantage of the asbestos abatement training.

The opportunity to travel as an asbestos worker for Snyder appeals to Reed, he said. In looking for career advancement, Reed said he’s also thinking about caring for his four children and looking to retirement.

Although the relationship with Our House is young, Carter said the Our House workers have already proven to be better employees for Snyder than many temp agency hires, some of whom haven’t stayed on the job past their first lunch break.

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