Employees at the FDA National Center for Toxicological Research have reported what appears to be mold spores deposited on desks and other surfaces in a particular ventilation system. Preliminary analysis appears to corroborate that these particles are mold spores. Some of the employees exposed to these particles have become ill. Management responded by allowing these employees to telework and by temporarily relocating them to offices in other ventilation systems. These changes appear to be resolving the problem albeit temporarily.
Union representatives have met with some management representatives over this situation. We have also notified the NCTR labor-management health and safety committee. Management has collected samples of the particulates but has yet to share any results with the Union. I will submit a formal request for information per 5 U.S.C. § 7114 (b) (4) to obtain these results.
I asked management to provide respirators to every employee who requests it. I also asked that management gets this ventilation system thoroughly inspected and cleaned. Furthermore, I am asking management to at least inspect every ventilation system throughout the facility to assure employees. Article 50, Section 1, of the 2014 HHS-NTEU Consolidated Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) states that the Employer will provide a safe and healthy work environment for employees.
I welcome and encourage your feedback on this important issue.