Hotel Owner Knowingly Exposes Workers to Asbestos Hazards

On January 22, 2018, the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) announced that it has cited the owner of the Seattle Pacific Hotel for using untrained workers to remove asbestos during renovation. A certified asbestos-abatement contractor had informed the owner of the hazard, but the owner decided to save money by using a roofing company and its untrained workers for the job, placing the workers and the public at risk. The owner faces fines of $355,000 for violating safety rules.

The Department began its investigation last summer and immediately issued a stop-work order. L&I cited the hotel for a dozen "willful" violations, including knowingly exposing workers to asbestos.

"It's unconscionable that anyone would knowingly expose untrained and unprotected workers to asbestos. It's an extremely hazardous material that's notorious for causing cancer and other serious health issues," said Anne Soiza, L&I's assistant director for the Division of Occupational Safety and Health.

Asbestos, which can cause fatal diseases like asbestosis, mesothelioma and lung cancer, must be removed by a certified abatement contractor following safety and health rules.

The news release can be found at http://lni.wa.gov/News/2018/pr180122a.asp.

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