The State of Washington recently fined an Edmonds-based asbestos removal company an additional $575,000 for improper asbestos removal. According to the Everett Herald, the asbestos removal company, Above & Beyond, was fined for allegedly violating safety protocol and operating without the proper credentials. In 2018, Labor & Industries de-certified Above & Beyond, but the contractor has since then continued bidding on projects and performing the asbestos abatement.
In June, inspectors reportedly observed an Above & Beyond employee removing an asbestos-laded popcorn ceiling in a Bothell home. When the inspectors notified the employee of the contractor's license suspension, the employee left without arranging to clean up the debris that Labor & Industries confirmed to contain asbestos. Additionally, according to reports, there were no asbestos bags, wetting agents, HEPA vacuums, and asbestos warning signs, and the home HVAC system was on and running. According to Labor & Industries, these are all violations of basic safety measures.
In a separate incident, state inspectors found the owner of Above & Beyond and his son removing asbestos-contaminated flooring. Both father and son are not certified for asbestos removal. In his defense, the son said that he did not know that Above & Beyond was de-certified and was unfamiliar with containment and air monitoring requirements.
According to the Everett Herald, in September 2021, Labor & Industries cited Above & Beyond for over a dozen safety violations related to the work mentioned above. In summary, Above & Beyond was cited for:
- Continuing to deal with asbestos without a contractor's license or certification, and
- Intentional disregard of asbestos regulations
In total, Above & Beyond now owes Labor & Industries more than $1 million.
Proper Asbestos Abatement
Even though asbestos use has declined due to regulations, the use of safer options, and product bans, people may still be at risk of asbestos exposure from old asbestos-contaminated products and materials. When it comes to houses, asbestos-contaminated materials can be found in a variety of building materials. This means that during a renovation or demolition, asbestos-contaminated materials or products may be disturbed.
When building materials become broken or worn out, homeowners should contact a certified asbestos abatement company. Only certified professionals that follow safety and health rules should remove and dispose of asbestos. Mishandling asbestos can lead to asbestos exposure. When an individual gets exposed to asbestos fibers, they may end up developing asbestos-related diseases. Asbestos exposure can cause mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer.
Before hiring an asbestos abatement company, you should verify its qualifications. It is crucial that you avoid hiring companies that don't have the necessary qualifications or have been de-certified. A de-certified asbestos abatement company is not allowed to perform asbestos abatement projects. Additionally, if an abatement removal company has been de-certified, it means the company is unable to conduct safe asbestos removal.
Arizona Mesothelioma Lawyers
If you or a loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact our office to speak to one of our experienced mesothelioma attorneys about your situation. Our office can help investigate your case and determine if compensation can be sought from negligent parties to help you and your family live a more comfortable life.