A Puyallup asbestos-abatement contractor, Spenser Abatement Services, has been fined a total of $437,300 by the state Department of Labor and Industries for several violations of state regulations while removing asbestos from two buildings. The company did not return phone calls Friday.
The violations occurred, Labor and Industries said, at the former Lynnwood High School and an Olympia building used by the state Department of Transportation. The Lynnwood project involved removing asbestos from the high school before its demolition. The department fined the abatement company $256,900 for 11 willful violations and three serious violations. At the DOT building, L&I cited the company for eight willful and three serious violations. Fines there totaled $180,400.
A serious violation, the department said, happens when there is a substantial probability of serious injury or death. A willful violation occurs when there is a substantial probability of injury or death and the employer knowingly violates a rule or is plainly indifferent to correcting it.
The department said its inspectors found that Spenser Abatement ignored basic safety measures and exposed workers to unsafe levels of asbestos. If inhaled, asbestos dust or fibers can lead to asbestosis, a potentially fatal lung disease, or to mesothelioma and lung cancer.
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Business website Manta.com lists Spenser as having annual revenues of about $450,000 and six employees.