Edmonds asbestos-removal firm cited for improper handling

The state has accused Above & Beyond Asbestos Removal of multiple “willful and serious violations.”

EDMONDS —The Washington Department of Labor and Industries has cited an Edmonds-based asbestos removal company for improperly handling asbestos, a hazardous material. The firm now faces more than $200,000 in fines.

Above & Beyond Asbestos Removal in Edmonds received multiple citations after two inspections, according to an agency news release. One worksite involved the emergency removal of boiler insulation at a Seattle apartment complex. The other involved the removal of asbestos popcorn ceiling material in a single-family home.

Among other alleged violations, the state said workers at both sites did not use proper safety equipment; did not conduct required air sampling; and exposed the public to dust containing asbestos.

When reached by phone Tuesday, the company declined to comment.

Above & Beyond was cited for multiple “willful and serious violations.” A willful violation is one in which the Department of Labor and Industries finds evidence of plain indifference or an intentional disregard to a hazard or rule.

If not properly handled or disposed, dust containing asbestos can harm workers and the public.

“This company has demonstrated a continuous indifference to Washington’s asbestos handling rules, which protect workers and the public from harm,” said Anne Soiza, the agency’s assistant director for the Division of Occupational Safety and Health.

Above & Beyond has been cited in the past for similar violations and has been identified as a severe violator by the state agency.

The company, which is facing proposed fines totaling $229,700, has 15 days to appeal the citations.

Only certified asbestos contractors may remove and dispose of materials containing asbestos. The state agency may also decertify an asbestos contractor for multiple willful violations. The company is currently under review.

Janice Podsada: jpodsada@heraldnet.com; 425-339-3097: Twitter: @JanicePods

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