The DOE is required, under our contract and federal and state regulations, to provide a workplace free of recognized hazards, one that is safe, secure and well maintained. It is required to provide training to protect members against hazards that they are likely to encounter, including but not limited to dealing with blood that may carry disease, spilled cleaning products and damaged insulation that my contain asbestos. Those who work in science laboratories and career and technical education shops also must receive training on hazards specific to their facilities.
To ensure that the DOE adheres to our contract and the law, the union’s Safety and Health Committee has experts in each borough to respond to environmental health and safety complaints or concerns. You as chapter leader should contact this committee when you are made aware of environmental hazards at your work site. These concerns can include, but are not limited to, asbestos, lead paint, mold, rodents, bed bugs, indoor air quality, construction and renovation, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in lighting fixtures and caulk, communicable diseases, including bloodborne pathogens, and ergonomic hazards like lifting and transferring students with limited mobility.