Incomplete Asbestos Abatement
December 05, 2014
Seattle, Washington - Partners Construction Inc. and Asbestos Construction Management Inc. were fined a total of $379,100 by the state Department of Labor & Industries for 19 “willful and serious” safety and health violations. The citations were the result of an incomplete asbestos abatement that was performed prior to the demolition of a Seattle apartment building, and also for exposing on-site workers to the harmful toxin.
Partners Construction was originally hired to remove the asbestos from the building; the agency submitted paperwork declaring the building asbestos-free after several weeks of work. But a worker’s complaint prompted the Department of Labor & Industries to investigate, and an inspection of the site showed that approximately 5,400 sq. ft. of asbestos-containing popcorn ceiling still remained in the building.
At that point, the building’s owner hired Asbestos Construction Management Inc. to complete the job, but the replacement agency violated essentially the same asbestos regulations as Partners Construction. Ultimately, Partners Construction received 14 citations, while Asbestos Construction Management was issued five.
The Department of Labor & Industries has already decertified Partners Construction; Asbestos Construction Management will soon lose its asbestos certification, as well.
In a release, the Department of Labor & Industries highlighted the important of lawful asbestos abatement. “Removal of asbestos-containing building materials must be done by a certified abatement contractor who follows safety and health rules to protect workers and the public from exposure to asbestos,” the statement said. “The contractor must also ensure proper removal and disposal of the asbestos materials.”
Asbestos exposure can lead to numerous respiratory health problems, and it is the primary cause of mesothelioma, a preventable type of lung cancer with a high mortality rate. For more information about asbestos regulations, visit the EPA’s website.