MYNORTHWEST NEWS

WA manufacturer fined nearly $500,000 for exposing worker to dangerous chemicals

Sep 1, 2023, 8:06 AM | Updated: 8:22 am

Wilson Creek is located 18 miles east of Soap Lake on Highway 28, north of Moses Lake. Unlike many ...

Wilson Creek is located 18 miles east of Soap Lake on Highway 28, north of Moses Lake. Unlike many of the other small towns on the list, it remains healthy and vital thanks to its proximity to Moses Lake and Grand Coulee. The town had 210 residents as of 2012

A chemical manufacturing company in Moses Lake is facing a nearly $500,000 fine for exposing a worker to dangerous chemicals.

The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) is fining Two Rivers Terminal, a fertilizer and chemical formulator, $479,700. L&I said that Two Rivers did seven ‘wilful serious violations, seven serious violations, and four general violations’ of Washinton labor laws.

More fines: CenturyLink fined nearly $1M for disconnecting service during pandemic

During an investigation at the beginning of the year, inspectors with L&I found an employee who was working on top of a railcar and passed out, falling to the ground after being exposed to the toxic gas hydrogen sulfide.

The worker was seriously injured and was not wearing a legally mandated hydrogen sulfide gas monitor, respiratory protection, or fall protection.

The company said that their procedure for unloading the molten sulfur used in production changed from unloading tank trucks to unloading railcars a few months prior to the accident, and they hadn’t done any assessment of how dangerous the new method would be.

“It’s hard to overstate how serious a risk they were taking with their workers’ lives,” Craig Blackwood, assistant director for L&I’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health, said in a statement. “We’re focusing our enforcement efforts on making sure Two Rivers is doing everything it must to ensure its workers return home safely at the end of the day.”

Later, L&I issued an immediate work stoppage Jan. 26 at the molten sulfur unload area in order to implement safety procedures, and the order was lifted Feb. 6.

Two Rivers was previously cited for more than 60 safety violations following an Oct. 2022 inspection. Six of the recent willful violations are for hazards that were not fixed from the 2022 citations.

The company is working to appeal all of their citations.

MyNorthwest News

Photo: Woodland Park Zoo's Batu is expecting....

Julia Dallas

Local zoo animals become mothers for the first time

Woodland Park Zoo and Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium both have news! Two animals are experiencing motherhood for the first time.

11 hours ago

Photo: Auburn Police Officer Jeff Nelson....

James Lynch

Auburn Officer Jeff Nelson’s fate now in hands of jury

It has been five years since Auburn Police Officer Jeff Nelson shot and killed 26-year-old Jesse Sarey who was going through a crisis.

11 hours ago

Steamboat Geyser is protected by a boardwalk and 3-foot fence. (Getty Images)...

Bill Kaczaraba

Lynnwood man creates costly photo opportunity in Yellowstone

A 21-year-old Lynwood man faces legal consequences for his actions near Steamboat Geyser in Yellowstone National Park.

11 hours ago

Photo: A 27-year-old registered Washington sex offender was caught while he was allegedly traveling...

Julia Dallas

Washington sex offender caught allegedly traveling to sexually assault teen

A 27-year-old registered Washington sex offender was caught while he was allegedly traveling to Oregon to sexually assault a teen.

14 hours ago

Photo: Starting this fall, students at Seattle's Hamilton International Middle School will have to ...

Julia Dallas

2 Seattle schools to say goodbye to cell phones in the fall

Starting this fall, students at Seattle's Hamilton International Middle School will have to lock up their cell phones during school hours.

14 hours ago

Grocery prices...

Heather Bosch

Lawmaker: High grocery prices due to ‘Corporate Greed’

Grocery prices remain stubbornly high. One Washington lawmaker, Kim Schrier, says that's because of corporate greed.

15 hours ago

WA manufacturer fined nearly $500,000 for exposing worker to dangerous chemicals