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May 2, 1996

Seattle contractor cited and fined $60,400 for asbestos removal

TUMWATER - A Seattle contractor has been cited and fined $60,400 by the state Department of Labor & Industries for asbestos-removal activities and a safety violation during the renovation of a downtown Seattle apartment building.

L&I cited Triple T Group, Ltd., on Wednesday for four willful violations of state regulations governing the handling and removal of asbestos at the Elektra apartments, 1400 Hubbell Place. The company also was cited for a serious safety violation for failing to provide a guard on a power saw. The company has 15 working days from the time the citations were received to appeal the violations and penalties.

L&I issues willful violations when an employer either knowingly or intentionally violated safety and health regulations, or was aware that a hazardous condition existed and made no reasonable effort to eliminate the condition.

Specifically, L&I cited the company for willfully violating asbestos-related regulations by: 

  • Failing to establish appropriate enclosures before conducting renovation activities that remove or disturb asbestos ceiling materials, cement board and pipe insulation. $16,000.
  • Failing to ensure that a written report describing the presence and location of asbestos-containing material was posted conspicuously where employees report to work. Most employees were not told the materials they worked with contained asbestos. $16,000.
  • Failing to ensure that remodeling and renovation activities that disturb and release asbestos were conducted by certified asbestos workers. $13,600.
  • Failing to ensure that asbestos debris was not left in the work area. Asbestos debris was found in several apartments and plumbing chases. $13,600.

The company also was cited for a serious violation and fined $1,200 because a cable miter saw was not equipped with a lower blade guard as required.

An earlier citation and notice, including a $5,450 in penalties, was issued in late January against Triple T for a range of safety and health violations at the site. These included asbestos-related violations and other safety issues. The company appealed, and the citation is under review by the department.

L&I safety and health inspectors remind residents and contractors that asbestos-removal contractors must be certified by the department. Contractor certifications can be confirmed by contacting L&I's asbestos certification program at 360-902-5435 or the nearest L&I service location. L&I service locations can be found in the government section of the telephone book under Washington, State of.

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