OSHA Violation Brings Parents Filing Asbestos Claims

Many Huntington Beach, California parents are upset this week after an asbestos removal took place in several schools before they were informed. In turn, parents have filed a complaint against the Ocean View school district.

According to reports, angry parents filed a complaint with the California Occupational and Safety Health Administration (Cal/OSHA) after 11 schools in the Ocean View school district went through remodeling, which included asbestos removal. To make matters worse, parents claim that they were told the renovations would happen over the summer, when the children were not in school.

“We were told by the district that the asbestos would be removed in summer when kids weren’t here. Then we’re sitting in a board meeting and we found out that, holy socks, it’s being removed right now with kids in schools wandering around all over the place,” said John Briscoe, one of the parents involved in filing the complaint.

Other parents state that they were never informed the project would entail asbestos removal. However, the superintendent of the school district says that parents were informed of the project over the summer. Yet, parents state that there was never once a mention of asbestos removal until last week. Some children are now complaining of sudden rashes.

Although district officials informed parents that the asbestos work is halted, many are still unsure and think the work is still going on. While some parents have threatened to take their children out of the school district completely, others are more upset that they were not given a choice on what to do with their children during the renovations.

“At least get us the information so we can make decisions on behalf of our own children whether they should attend school or not,” said parent Stephanie Green.

According to Cal/OSHA and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), all schools must inform parents and/or guardians in the event that any construction or remodeling takes places that may disturb asbestos in schools. In addition, the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act  mandates that all parents must be informed beforehand if any asbestos is contained in schools. Parents must also be given a handbook that details all routine maintenance inspections for asbestos leaks at school.

It’s estimated that more than 40,000 schools in the United States contain asbestos. The majority of these schools were built prior to the 1980s, when asbestos was heavily used in construction products, parts, pipes, flooring, insulation, and more. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) states that children have more time to become exposed to asbestos when compared to adults, and since asbestos fibers are odorless, tasteless, and undetectable by the human eye, children can easily ingest or inhale them without ever knowing.

If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness, you may be entitled to significant compensation. Contact our dedicated and experienced mesothelioma lawyers today and let us help you get the compensation you may be entitled to.

 

Sources:

  1. http://www2.epa.gov/sites/production/files/documents/ashara.pdf
  2. http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CFR-2011-title40-vol31/pdf/CFR-2011-title40-vol31-part763-subpartE.pdf
  3. https://www.dir.ca.gov/dosh/acru/ACRUinfo.htm
  4. http://ktla.com/2014/09/26/parents-not-informed-of-asbestos-removal-at-huntington-beach-school-official-says/

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