Michigan School Failed To Properly Remove Asbestos

Schools in Grand Rapids Michigan were given citations for their improper procedures for handling ACMs (asbestos containing materials). They have totaled $11,900 in penalties for their disregard of mandated rules. MIOSHA had told the school about their citations they had received. It was 5 citations, four of which included fines. These were given because they did not comply with the regulations of the requirements of AHERA, which stands for the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act. Employees who were cleaning the building were not aware that there was asbestos present and were not trained in asbestos awareness. The school building had to be shut down in mid February because the district construction company sent them a statement that “plaster possibly containing asbestos was breached due to the cutting, drilling, and construction work,” which occurred during the replacement of heating and air conditioning within the school. Although the students were moved to another location for the rest of the year, the students are able to return to the building in the fall semester of the new school year. A toxicologist from the Department of Health and Human Services with the name Joost van’t Erve released a statement following the findings about health issues relating to the construction that could potentially spread harmful chemicals around the school. “Even though there was exposure, the potential for developing health problems in the future is very low. It is not likely to happen, but it can’t be completely ruled out.’’ MIOSA reached out to make four recommendations to rectify the issues caused by the district. These included surveying the ACM every six months, re-inspections every 3 years, and notifications to the parents of children. The total cost is still undetermined.

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