WASHINGTON – The U.S. Office of Special Counsel has determined that management at Federal Correctional Institution Dublin in California violated OSHA standards by exposing staff and inmates to asbestos, validating a complaint filed by the American Federation of Government Employees.
Leadership at AFGE Local 3584 – President Edward Canales, Secretary-Treasurer Susan Canales, and Vice President Jose Lau – filed the whistleblower disclosure to expose the agency’s failure to address asbestos and mold contamination throughout the prison complex.
Acting Special Counsel Karen Gorman today submitted the results of OSC’s investigation, which included an on-site visit in July 2022. Investigators observed inmates stripping and buffing asbestos-containing floor tiles in violation of OSHA standards, although mold had been remediated by the time investigators visited.
“We thank the Office of Special Counsel for completing its work and documenting that employees and inmates were exposed to asbestos,” AFGE Assistant General Counsel Ward Morrow said.
“While we do not agree with the decision not to notify individuals of their potential exposure, we are satisfied by the efforts made to prevent future exposures. Likewise, leaking roofs and mold contamination would not have been addressed without our members speaking out,” Morrow said.
“We now call on Congress and its oversight committees to further investigate the failure by the Department of Justice and the Bureau of Prisons to provide full disclosure to the staff and inmates as to their exposure, as well as the need for proper medical surveillance.”