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Safety And Security

State faults custodians for asbestos work

June 28, 2010
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SHRUB OAK, NY — Two custodians improperly removed floor tiles containing asbestos from Lakeland High School last summer, resulting in a $2,500 fine to the school district and a charge from one of the men that he was transferred after he complained, according to Lower Hudson.
The men took up loose and broken tiles in eight to 10 classrooms at the beginning of July: According to the state Labor Department, neither man was certified to handle asbestos.
An investigation by the Labor Department found that the head custodian had ordered the work, the article noted.
"Uncertified school employees were instructed by the head custodian to remove the loose pieces, cut away and remove portions of broken floor tile still attached to the floor and then they replaced them with non-asbestos floor tiles," said Jean Genovese, a spokeswoman for the state Labor Department.
One of the custodians, Carmine Di Bernardo, said he and the other man questioned several times whether the work had been approved and were told by the head custodian that it had been, the article stated.
The district is licensed to perform asbestos abatement, but neither of the men had a valid asbestos handling certificate, according to the violation.
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