The Occupational Safety & Health Reporter™ provides complete news coverage and documentation of federal and state occupational safety and health programs, standards, legislation, regulations,...
By Sam Pearson
July 1 — A Michigan school district unlawfully retaliated against a janitor who complained about asbestos exposure, federal investigators said.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration said June 29 the janitor, who worked at the Dearborn Heights School District in Michigan, was subjected to adverse personnel actions after she reported the improper conduct. OSHA ordered the district to pay $193,139 in back wages, damages and other compensation for allegedly violating the Clean Air Act's whistle-blower provisions.
The janitor objected when told by a supervisor to dry sand floor tiles containing asbestos. The janitor said she was not trained on how to mitigate asbestos hazards and was not given protective equipment, OSHA said.
OSHA found she was continually retaliated against as she presented evidence she was exposed to asbestos. The janitor was reprimanded after filing complaints with the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency, and discussing her case with local media outlets, OSHA said.
“No worker should be harassed or punished for reporting unsafe working conditions, advocating for other employees and seeking assurance that they are not being exposed to carcinogenic materials such as asbestos which can impact their long-term health,” OSHA Region 5 Administrator Ken Nishiyama Atha said in a statement June 29. “OSHA's investigation found the Dearborn Heights School District clearly knew the tiles contained asbestos and failed to protect workers from exposure.”
A message left for Dearborn Heights School District Superintendent John Fazer July 1 was not returned.
Both parties may request a hearing on the findings before an administrative law judge within 30 days.
To contact the reporter on this story: Sam Pearson at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Larry Pearl at firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright © 2016 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)