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Courthouse cited for mold

The Kentucky Labor Cabinet’s Office of Occupational Safety and Health has cited the McCreary County Courthouse failing to keep the workplace clean and sanitary.

The citation, issued on March 3, notes the Kentucky AOC McCreary County Circuit Court Clerk’s office is in violation of OSHA standards for allowing visible mold growth in the office, exposing workers to potentially unsafe conditions.

While the Clerk’s office is run by the Kentucky Administrative Office of the Courts, the AOC leases the space from the McCreary County Fiscal Court, and as such is the tenant in the building.

The violation notification, which has been posted in the office, explains the violation as follows: “All places of employment, passageways, storerooms, and service rooms were not maintained in a clean and orderly and in a sanitary condition.”

Also, “The employer did not ensure the place of employment was kept in a sanitary condition as visible mold growth was observed in multiple locations in the facility.”

Over the past year, several members of the Circuit Court staff as well as other offices in the courthouse  have reported various medical issues they attributed to mold growth in the central area of the Courthouse, mainly in the Circuit Court office.

An inspection dated October 25 found the growth and prompted the citation.

McCreary County Judge Executive Doug Stephens contracted Truth Consulting last October to conduct an initial mold investigation report on the areas of concern. The firm inspected the facility on October 6 and issued their findings and suggestions on October 15.

The findings noted mold growth in the east closet and lower east wall of the Circuit Court office, several square feet of mold growth in the rooftop air unit that services the office and high concentrations of mold spores in the supply diffusers and flex ducting for the office.

The report issued several recommendations for alleviating the mold problem, including regular replacement of filters, a closer inspection of the duct work for mold growth, and to maintain a consistent temperature and humidity level in the building to inhibit future growth.

It also recommended removing and replacing the walls and insulation of the affected areas as well as conducting a thorough cleaning of the HVAC system.

Work to remove the wall and clean up any mold growth has already been completed.

The citation has an April 17 deadline to complete clean up.

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