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October 12, 1999

Asbestos-removal violations:
Port, six contractors cited for safety violations at Sea-Tac Airport

TUMWATER -- The Department of Labor & Industries has cited and fined the Port of Seattle and six contractors more than $127,000 for violating asbestos safety rules during renovation work at Sea-Tac Airport's north and south satellite areas.

The violations and penalties concluded L&I's six-month investigation into the remodeling work that was being done to concession areas. L&I opened the investigation after receiving a complaint that asbestos-containing materials were being removed in violation of workplace safety and health rules that protect workers from asbestos exposure.

Asbestos, a widely used mineral-based material that is resistant to heat and corrosives, represents a significant health hazard that has been linked to the loss of lung function, lung disease and several cancers that can lead to disability and death. Exposure to asbestos can cause three main diseases, asbestosis, lung cancer and cancer of the lining of the chest and abdominal cavities.

The cited employers were:

  • Port of Seattle
  • Martinez Melgoza and Associates, Seattle
  • FS & GS Services, Puyallup
  • Crown Delta Environmental, Seattle
  • William Dickson Co., Tacoma
  • Long Services Corp., Seattle
  • Alpha Insulation Inc., Marysville

The largest penalty, $63,000, was assessed against Martinez Melgoza for seven willful violations of regulations intended to protect workers from asbestos. Willful violations indicate that the employer knowingly or intentionally violated worker-protection rules, or exhibited plain indifference that a violation was occurring and failed to take corrective action.

Specifically, Martinez Melgoza:

  • Willfully failed to establish negative pressure enclosures during asbestos removal. ($9,000 penalty)
  • Willfully failed to ensure that employees wore supplied-air respirators. ($9,000)
  • Willfully failed to provide decontamination facilities. ($9,000)
  • Willfully failed to ensure that asbestos materials were cleaned up after removal operations. ($9,000)
  • Willfully failed to adequately encapsulate asbestos after removal operations. ($9,000)
  • Willfully failed to conduct sampling after asbestos removal to ensure the air was clear of asbestos. ($9,000)
  • Willfully failed to use laboratories that comply with appropriate air sampling quality control. ($9,000)

Port of Seattle
The Port of Seattle was cited for nine serious violations that carried total penalties of $29,900. The violations related to enclosures, respirators, decontamination, asbestos debris, encapsulation, air clearance sampling, and laboratory quality control. In addition, the port was cited for failing to conduct a survey to determine if asbestos was present, and failure to notify a contractor that asbestos remained in the project area.

FS & GS Services
FS & GS Services, Puyallup, was cited for five serious violations and fined $3,900. The violations related to enclosures, respirators, decontamination, asbestos debris and encapsulation.

Crown Delta Environmental
Crown Delta Environmental was cited for two serious and two repeat serious violations and fined a total of $12,400. The violations related to enclosures, respirators, decontamination and asbestos debris.

William Dickson Co.
William Dickson Co., Tacoma, was cited for five serious violations and fined $5,850. The violations related to enclosures, respirators, decontamination, asbestos debris and air sampling.

Long Services Corp.
Long Services Corp., Seattle, was cited for two repeat serious violations and fined $9,520. The violations related to asbestos debris and encapsulation.

Alpha Insulation
Alpha Insulation was cited for four serious violations and fined $3,000. The violations related to enclosures, respirators, decontamination and asbestos debris.

All cited employers have 15 working days from receipt of the violation report to appeal.

Labor & Industries manages the state's workers' compensation system in Washington and enforces workplace safety-and-health rules.

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