The Evergreen State College fined for multiple asbestos violations

September 27, 2019

Tumwater – The Evergreen State College is facing more than $135,000 in fines for multiple violations related to asbestos and other safety issues around its Olympia campus.

 

The Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) has cited the college for 29 serious violations; the fines for each range from $600 to $5,400. There were also two general violations with no fines. L&I opened the inspection on March 20, 2019, after receiving a complaint.

 

The college's maintenance team had an employee enter a steam vault and remove damaged asbestos-containing pipe insulation without adequate protections. The college was cited for several serious violations for this and other asbestos-handling violations.

 

L&I also cited Evergreen for lockout/tagout violations and violations of confined space requirements. Lockout/tagout violations means the college required employees to work on electrical or powered equipment while the machinery could still operate. L&I also found violations for lack of eye protection, not meeting emergency eyewash requirements, and deficiencies in the college's chemical hazard communication program.

 

Since the inspection, Evergreen has made a number of changes. The college hired a certified asbestos abatement contractor, and it sent two workers to a certified building inspector training course. The most important outcome for inspections is that an employer fixes existing hazards and prevents them from happening again.

 

Employers have 15 business days from the time they receive a citation to appeal.

 

Penalty money paid as a result of a citation is placed in the workers' compensation supplemental pension fund, helping injured workers and families of those who have died on the job.

 

For a copy of the citations, contact L&I Public Affairs.