Michigan safety agency plans more surprised inspections of demolition sites

DETROIT (AP) — Michigan’s workplace safety agency plans to step up unannounced inspections of demolition sites around the state to ensure workers are properly protected against hazards such as exposure to asbestos.

The Detroit Free Press reports the Michigan Occupational Health and Safety Administration says the one-year initiative was prompted in part by the newspaper’s investigation that concluded that the agency rarely gets tough with employers who exposed workers to asbestos.

The two-day report, published in May, found multiple cases where workers potentially inhaled dangerous levels of asbestos because they were not given proper gear, including respirators. Some workers weren’t told that they were handling asbestos.

MIOSHA says the initiative, launching this month, will involve unannounced inspections of 20 or more demolition sites. The agency has assigned six inspectors to the effort.

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