Indiana’s Department of Labor (DOL) has begun an investigation to determine whether or not workers at Muncie’s Central High School were exposed to asbestos during renovations that took place last year.
According to an article in The Star Press, the DOL is conducting a “health-related investigation centered around work practices and procedures of contractors at Central High School,” said DOL spokesman Sean Keefer. “It will be two or three weeks before the investigation is closed.”
The DOL notes that an asbestos complaint was filed on May 14th but does not state by whom it was filed. The notice complained that employees of contractors were not provided results of air sampling for asbestos and that these same employees were not allowed to observe air monitoring for asbestos. Also, air sample results provided by the school’s representative were falsified. For example, notes the complaint, results were provided for April 16 and 17, but no samples were collected on either of those days.
For now, construction has been halted in some of the rooms, and spare rooms are being used for classes originally set to take place in those rooms that are currently unusable. However, school officials maintain that students are not in danger.
There’s no reason to believe any students were exposed, said Marlin Creasy, superintendent of Muncie Community Schools. There was never any allegation that students were exposed to anything.
“It’s a safety issue,” said principal Dick Daniel. “They (workers) are saying there is one area where more (asbestos) abatement needs to happen before they continue working.”
The labor department is not accusing the school system of any violations, said Bill Reiter, director of facilities and operations for the school system. “In fact, they indicated they were very satisfied with us in terms of our records and information,” Reiter said.
Testing last week showed no asbestos in the air at Central High School, Reiter said, adding that testing is now being done by a different company to eliminate any further problems with falsification of test results.