A worker has accused the Institute of penalizing him for complaining about asbestos.
MesotheliomaCancerNews.com– A museum worker who made complaints regarding the Smithsonian Institute’s handling of reported asbestos contamination has accused the institution of retaliation. As reported by the Associated Press (AP), the Smithsonian was said to have penalized Richard Pullman for complaining that it failed to properly contain asbestos particles released by construction at the National Air and Space Museum.
As noted by the AP, the Institute was cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for asbestos regulations violations in July of last year. Pullman, reportedly began complaining about the asbestos exposure months before, and was subsequently demoted to a lower level position, denied certain opportunities, and harassed for speaking out.
The 53 year-old, who is now suffering from asbestosis, worked for the Smithsonian for 27 years. Pullman is quoted as stating of the issue, “I felt completely betrayed… I felt the Smithsonian organization had considered us disposable commodities.”
The Smithsonian is noted in the report to deny the allegations, and state that the asbestos does not pose a threat if handled properly, despite purportedly spending thousands for cleanup and monitoring in February.
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