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University failed to protect workers, despite numerous citations

Workers and a student at the University of South Carolina may have been exposed to asbestos on campus, despite recent fines imposed on the school. Over the course of just the past four years, the school has had to pay over $175,000 for failure to correct irresponsible asbestos-related practices. Because of this, a number of workers were exposed to asbestos.

Over the course of the past few years, the school has failed to properly protect staff and students by not improving their asbestos handling practices. The school has reportedly broken several rules and does not change asbestos procedures even when they say they will. Each of the fives times they have been cited for violations, the school has made a promise to improve. Each time they have failed to do so.

The school was supposed to ensure that buildings were inspected for asbestos and workers were properly trained and licensed before starting work on the buildings, which they failed to do. They also did not ensure that asbestos was properly disposed of and did not inform the state Department of Health and Environmental Control of major renovation plans.

After claims that workers and a student recently may have been exposed to asbestos, though, the school says that the chance of exposure is not likely. They claim that they tested the air and there was no asbestos detected. However, with their history of carelessness and irresponsibility, it is hard to take them at their word.

In the past several years, many employees and workers have been negligently exposed to asbestos because of the school's failure to correct their poor behavior. Without proper training, education and awareness, the school could be held responsible for any damages or diseases that are sustained by those who were exposed.

Source: The State, "USC fined for repeated asbestos violations," Sammy Fretwell, April 29, 2012

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