Seattle Marine Terminal Operator Fined $448,200

Seattle Bulk Shipping Inc. is currently appealing violations for which it was fined $424,850 and is considered a severe violator by L&I, meaning it is subject to follow-up inspections to determine whether the conditions still exist.

The Washington state Department of Labor & Industries has imposed one of its largest fines in recent years, $448,200, against a marine terminal operator in Seattle after the company failed to correct serious worker health hazards for which it had been cited previously, L&I announced it July 28.

The agency's inspection at Seattle Bulk Shipping Inc.'s Harbor Island facility found the company did not correct serious violations for which it was cited last year. At the facility, highly flammable ethanol fuel is transferred from rail cars to tanker trucks and grain is loaded onto rail cars and transferred between trucks. The uncorrected violation was a confined space serious violation -- failing to develop an adequate confined space entry program to protect employees who work around or inside grain pits or other confined spaces. Failing to correct the violation carries a penalty of $324,000.

And the company was cited for a second violation that hadn't been corrected: failing to provide an approved emergency eyewash station for workers who transfer ethanol from rail cars and tanker trucks. Failure to correct this violation carries a penalty of $108,000.

And Seattle Bulk Shipping also was cited for three additional serious violations related to emergency procedures for potential ethanol release and confined space rescue, each with a $5,400 penalty.

The company is currently appealing violations for which it was fined $424,850 and is considered a severe violator by L&I, meaning it is subject to follow-up inspections to determine whether the conditions still exist. Seattle Bulk Shipping has 15 business days to appeal the new violations. Penalty money paid in connection with a citation is placed in the workers' compensation supplemental pension fund, which helps workers and families of those who have died on the job.

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