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Washington Asbestos Removal Company Fined Nearly $800K

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A Lynnwood, Washington, asbestos removal contractor is facing stiff fines for knowingly and repeatedly exposing employees and homeowners to extremely hazardous conditions.

The Washington Department of Labor & Industries inspection of two Seattle Asbestos of Washington job sites at homes reportedly found dozens of violations that created a risk of exposure for workers and homeowners.

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At a Mountlake Terrace home, inspectors reportedly found plastic barriers, which are meant to seal off an area from airborne asbestos particles, that had large holes in them.

At a Ferndale home, inspectors reported employees leaving the regulated work area without protective clothing or respirators, and without using the onsite showers required at asbestos removal jobs.

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At both locations, L&I listed violations of basic asbestos-removal regulations including:

  • Equipment to clean harmful particles from the air was not working properly.
  • A dishwasher, water heater, and wood stove were not covered with plastic to seal them from particles.
  • Multiple respirators for workers were inside containment areas exposing them to contamination.
  • A large pile of drywall sitting on the living room carpet was not bagged nor saturated with water to keep down the dust.
  • There were no plastic drop cloths placed anywhere in the work area.

L&I ordered work stoppages until the problems were corrected. Between the two inspections, the agency reported more than 35 willful health and safety violations and issued fines of more than $790,000. Violations are considered “willful” when the company knew or should have known the requirements, but still failed to meet them.

The company filed an appeal in the first case, but did not appeal the second.

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L&I reports there have been five inspections where Seattle Asbestos of Washington violated asbestos safety measures. L&I has started the process to revoke the company’s certification to do asbestos work in Washington.

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