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Strawberry park restoration work cited for safety violations
The Washington State Department of Labor & Industries slapped the city with several citations for failing to train and protect employees during the Strawberry Plant Park restoration project.
The restoration project ran into several complications through its course including a $100,000 price tag to haul away 1,200 tons of tainted soil from the site to a waste management landfill in Arlington, Ore. Without the money to dig out all the contaminated soil and put in clean fill the city opted to put 18 inches of top soil atop a slap of asphalt from the old industrial days of the Eagle Harbor property.
The site was contaminated with lead, mercury and hydrocarbons.
The city was cited for the following violations during its restoration work, which ended near the end of March: failure to provide hazardous waste training for workers, supervisors and managers; complete a preliminary site evaluation; ensure employees and the contractor were informed about the nature, level and degree of hazardous substance exposure they were likely to encounter; provide protective equipment; establish decontamination procedures; and develop a health and safety plan prior to beginning hazardous waste operations.
No penalties were assessed, but the city was required to post the citation for three days.
“We didn’t have people with the right training, and we didn’t follow the right protocol,” said Interim City Manager Brenda Bauer. “Staff picked up and managed this project to a very successful conclusion, but there were things that didn’t go as they should have.”
Bauer said agencies such as Bainbridge do not have the resources to keep hazardous waste expertise on staff, but should hire the appropriate consulting services to protect workers in the future.