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Worker who found out about asbestos exposure placed on leave

South Carolina employers who know of asbestos risks must not only inform workers who may be exposed to it on the job but must also provide proper training and equipment to keep them as safe as possible. If employers fail in their duties, they may be held accountable for injuries suffered by employees. In another state, a situation involving asbestos exposure has led to a lawsuit filed by a worker who says his employers retaliated against him to keep him quiet.  

The worker's job included supervising juveniles in detention. A group of six youths were assigned to help renovate cottages as part of a $52 million upgrade project. The man said that during one work session, his boss told him to hurry and cover up some of the walls where he and the other workers had been removing paneling.  

The boss reportedly told the supervisor that the area was laden with asbestos, and he needed it all covered up so that a group of public officials coming through in the near future would not see it. The supervisor later stated that he was shocked that his superior was aware of the asbestos but had never informed any of the workers. To make matters worse, the supervisor and one of his co-workers were placed on administrative leave that same day.  

The employer accused the supervisor of wrongdoing in connection with juveniles who had allegedly been hiding contraband in the cottages. The worker says the allegations were fabricated as an excuse to take him off the job because of the asbestos situation. No level of asbestos exposure is safe. The worker filed a complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Anyone in South Carolina facing similar problems can reach out for immediate legal support.  

Source: statesmanjournal.com, "Whistleblower suit says MacLaren workers, students exposed to asbestos", Tracy Loew, May 2, 2018

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