DEWITT – A contractor overseeing renovations at a DeWitt elementary school faces a new $3,500 on top of a prior $15,000 penalty for mishandling asbestos.
The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration faulted Skillman Corp., based in Indianapolis, for its failure to determine if a contractor met requirements for handling asbestos during renovations at David Scott Elementary School in DeWitt this summer. MIOSHA proposed an initial $3,500 fine in a Dec. 2 citation, which Skillman Corp. has since appealed.
The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy already fined Skillman Corp. $15,000 for exposing asbestos during the renovation. EGLE said Skillman failed to notify the state that asbestos would be removed and did not properly handle the material.
A message was left seeking comment from the Skillman Corp.
The two investigations started in July when environmental and safety regulators were told of asbestos that was exposed and improperly removed from the elementary school.
This summer’s renovation work was part of district-wide improvements to school buildings. Skillman Corp. was the project’s construction manager and the district hired other firms for individual projects.
DeWitt Public Schools Superintendent John Deiter said in October the asbestos release did not put any students or staff at risk. He said the release was “human error” by a contractor and not the fault of DeWitt Public Schools.
A plumbing contractor on June 24 first found the 9-by-9-inch asbestos tiles hidden beneath a layer of 12-by-12-inch tiles when a slab of concrete was removed, state records said. The plumbing contractor told EGLE the environmental evaluation did not say the asbestos floor tile was there.
An environmental contractor advised Skillman that a 10-day notice to the state was needed and protective measures to contain any asbestos had to be in place when it was removed.
When work stopped for the July 4 holiday weekend, the bulk of the asbestos tile remained in place, but during the holiday break, someone went into the school, removed the asbestos tile and left it piled in an office area, state records show.
Renovation work stopped at the school because of the asbestos releases. Work resumed once the asbestos was removed and school building was cleaned.
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