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.

Local News

(Photo from KIRO 7)...

Julia Dallas, KIRO 7 News

Enjoy Seattle, Tacoma, Bellevue fall colors with these nature walks

Fall has arrived in Western Washington! This weekend is supposed to be in the 70s, making the perfect weather for nature walks.

14 hours ago

(Photo from KIRO 7)...

KIRO 7 News Staff

WA Congresswoman announces $1.3M in federal funding for Kirkland Jail Addiction Treatment

U.S. Congresswoman Suzan DelBene has announced nearly $1.3 million to establish a new drug treatment program at the Kirkland City Jail.

18 hours ago

FILE - The U.S. Capitol is seen on Tuesday, June 13, 2023, on Capitol Hill in Washington. Congress ...

Associated Press

Government shutdown averted with little time to spare as Biden signs funding before midnight

The threat of a federal government shutdown suddenly lifted late Saturday as President Joe Biden signed a temporary funding bill to keep agencies open with little time to spare after Congress rushed to approve the bipartisan deal.

19 hours ago

carnation community...

Brittany Toolis, KIRO 7 News

‘The community is very traumatized’: Carnation residents air grievances over Tolt Dam false alarms

False alarms at Tolt Dam have sounded six times over the last three years with no emergency.

1 day ago

DUI Bellevue...

KIRO 7 News Staff

Man dead after suspected DUI rollover crash in Bellevue

At about 4:10 a.m. Saturday, Bellevue officers and medics with the Bellevue Fire Department responded to the report of a single-vehicle crash.

2 days ago

Seattle Amazon walkout...

Bill Kaczaraba

Report: Amazon tells its employees it is monitoring badge swipes

Amazon says it is getting serious about its "get back to the office" policy, now monitoring individual badge swipes into office buildings.

2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Swedish Cyberknife...

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

September is a busy month on the sports calendar and also holds a very special designation: Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

Ziply Fiber...

Dan Miller

The truth about Gigs, Gs and other internet marketing jargon

If you’re confused by internet technologies and marketing jargon, you’re not alone. Here's how you can make an informed decision.

Education families...

Education that meets the needs of students, families

Washington Virtual Academies (WAVA) is a program of Omak School District that is a full-time online public school for students in grades K-12.

Emergency preparedness...

Emergency planning for the worst-case scenario

What would you do if you woke up in the middle of the night and heard an intruder in your kitchen? West Coast Armory North can help.

Innovative Education...

The Power of an Innovative Education

Parents and students in Washington state have the power to reimagine the K-12 educational experience through Insight School of Washington.

Medicare fraud...

If you’re on Medicare, you can help stop fraud!

Fraud costs Medicare an estimated $60 billion each year and ultimately raises the cost of health care for everyone.

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