Asbestos Contractor Cited, Fined in Washington State

In two recent site inspections, the workers did not use proper safety equipment, required air sampling was not performed, and asbestos-containing material was left exposed to the public and was improperly taken through public areas.

An Edmonds, Wash.-based asbestos removal contractor has been cited by the Washington Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) for multiple willful safety violations for improper handling of asbestos and fined $229,700. The agency has cited Above & Beyond Asbestos Removal in connection with two separate inspections. Along with citing and fining a company, L&I may decertify an asbestos contractor for multiple willful violations, and its announcement of the citations and find said this company is under review.

"This company has demonstrated a continuous indifference to Washington's asbestos handling rules which protect workers and the public from harm," said Anne Soiza, L&I's assistant director for the Division of Occupational Safety and Health. "This fine delivers a clear message that asbestos is a deadly hazard and we won't tolerate any company that doesn't follow the rules to keep the public and workers safe."

L&I reported that the two recent inspections of Above & Beyond uncovered several similar violations. One work site involved the emergency removal of boiler insulation in a Seattle apartment complex, and the other concerned the removal of asbestos popcorn ceiling material in a single-family residence. In both cases, the workers did not use proper safety equipment, required air sampling was not performed, and asbestos-containing material was left exposed to the public and was improperly taken through public areas, according to the agency.

Above & Beyond has been cited in the past for similar violations and has been identified by L&I as a severe violator — a designation that carries consequences, such as follow-up inspections at any of their facilities or sites that could have similar hazards. The employer has 15 business days to appeal the citations.

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