Employees at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Washington headquarters have expressed concerns about being exposed to cancer-causing materials during an office asbestos and lead abatement.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) opened a probe of the building in late March after an employee complaint. A union representing USDA workers is accusing management of failing to provide sufficient notice about the abatement and failing to maintain secured barriers between the ongoing work and the office staff.
The USDA has confirmed the abatement project, but claims employees were given enough warning and were permitted to telecommute to avoid contact with the hazardous materials.
Upon completion of its investigation, OSHA’s findings will be made public, regardless of its conclusions and whether or not the employer is cited for wrongdoing.
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