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Forced to work during ASBESTOS removal

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  • Forced to work during ASBESTOS removal

    My (former) employer moved into larger, and older, shipping and receiving facility. This building contained Asbestos. The employer had the lowest rung workers (yard workers who were of a down and out lot i.e. homeless, drug addiction, alcohol abuse etc.) remove the Asbestos. These workers were not certified in the removal of Asbestos and we were forced to work while the Asbestos was being removed. There fans blowing putrid smells in the air, containing God knows what, all around us. We complained to management about the conditions of bad smell, a heavy haze in the air, and our concern about breathing Asbestos materials. We were matched with threats of being fired if we complained any further. Our employer told us, "the state has tested the air and there is no contamination or threat to you guys". This is patently untrue.. because if the state knew that we working during the removal then..
    An electrician, who works for this company, told us, "if the right people knew that this building had employees working while Asbestos was being removed then there would be serious consequences for this company".
    Do I have any rights about my exposure to the asbestos? Also we are told to not disclose to the town, or anyone, that we are illegally holding thousands of gallons of marine-grade oil.
    Any thoughts are most welcome.
    Sincerely,

  • #2
    You may file a complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (www.OSHA.gov) and the Environmental Protection Agency (www.epa.gov.) If your State has it's own safety and/or environmental protection agency, you may file complaints with them as well.

    You may also want to contact your State's Attorney General's office. It's quite possible that your employer engaged in criminal conduct. If you post what State you're in, I can give you the contact info for your AG office.

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    • #3
      Duh. I just noticed you posted on the Massachusettes board. Here you go: http://www.ago.state.ma.us/

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      • #4
        Thank you for the information Beth3. I did not think of the Mass attorney general's office.
        Sincerely,

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        • #5
          Yep. Knowingly exposing employees to deadly toxins and carcinogins without proper protective equipment can be a criminal act. A few company owners have been criminally prosecuted and sent to jail for similar acts.

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