The Department of Labor and Industries in Washington recently ordered the state’s corrections department to pay a fine of $140,000 for exposing inmate laborers to asbestos, Northwest Public Radio reported on April 23.
Reports said the Washington Department of Corrections (DOC) was ordered to settle at least $70,000 and should agree to train nearly 1,000 inmate workers on proper asbestos handling procedure. Elaine Fischer of the Department of Labor and Industries said the violations committed by DOC were deliberate. Investigations revealed that DOC allowed workers to sweep asbestos-filled flooring tiles and the use of respirators while working was not mandated. The DOC pleaded not guilty to the violations and they disputed the findings of alleged asbestos violations.
When accidentally inhaled in the form of dust, asbestos minerals can cause fatal health problems. However if you think you or a loved one were exposed to this hazardous mineral due to the negligence of others, important information and help can be sought by calling 800-781-3955.