The Evergreen State College fined for multiple asbestos violations
Asbestos citations against the Evergreen State College mean the college is facing more than $135,000 in fines for multiple violations related to asbestos and other safety issues around its Olympia, WA campus. Employers have 15 business days from the time they receive a citation to appeal.
The Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) published a notice stating that it 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.
Penalty money paid as a result of a citation, including asbestos citations, 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: 360-902-5413.