An employee had been concerned regarding the communication with workers post this discovery. George O’Connor, one of the maintenance mechanic’s for the Property Management Division, has said that the situation seems to be potentially hazardous but consultants were not being communicative enough.
However, consultants have assured that the high levels of asbestos pose a low risk of entering the air as they are embedded into the dirt and dust in the ground.
Even though the consultants have claimed that there is no risk of exposure to the public or the staff, the finding of high levels of asbestos has brought about a change in how the custodians are told to do their jobs.
Statement by Thompson
Dick Thompson, Deputy Commissioner of Maine Department of Administrative and Financial Services reportedly said that the custodial employees had been ordered in February to discontinue working above a certain height. This includes tasks like changing lightbulbs and dusting the top shelves. The order will be in effect until the asbestos had been completely removed or secured.
Thompson also said that those workers had not been sent off to those areas. He also added that an abatement effort has been ongoing in certain areas of the building during the past month. Since the report came back, training sessions and staff meetings have been conducted.
The asbestos had been found in October 2018
The asbestos had been found in the debris that had fallen from the ceiling of the museum and archives in October 2018. The Cultural Building had undergone testing after the discovery.
According to the memos shared between officials of the Department of Financial and Administrative Services, the material had tested positive for a common form of asbestos called chrysotile. It was cleaned immediately.
Based on reports from testing in early January, the asbestos posed little to no risk of becoming airborne unless it was disturbed vigorously.