The Best Western Evergreen Inn and Suites in Federal Way has been fined $389,700 for failure to correct multiple health violations such as properly protecting employees from bloodborne pathogens and other hazards.
Hotel owner Pacific Hospitality LLC filed an appeal July 6, according to the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries.
Documents show the hotel has since been making corrections for 13 total violations stemming from December 2016. The penalties for these violations increased substantially because corrections did not begin until April.
Many of the violations with heftier penalties involved the lack of a “written exposure plan” or a “written hazard communication program” for employees who are exposed to hazardous chemicals or bloodborne pathogens such as HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C.
Other violations included not having emergency eyewash stations or providing hepatitis vaccinations.
Elaine Fischer, spokeswoman for the Department of Labor and Industries, said 58 workers at the hotel had been exposed to hazardous materials. Fischer said that in most cases, an employer will fix violations right away.
“It isn’t common to see one with this big of a penalty,” Fischer said of the Federal Way hotel, noting the hazards of an employee being pricked with a contaminated needle while on the job, for example. “They didn’t make any effort to correct the December violations.”
The department reports that 10 violations have since been corrected and the rest are due for correction by Sept. 13. A manager for the Best Western Evergreen Inn and Suites told the Mirror that the hotel is doing everything the state has asked.
A similar but less severe case occurred in 2015 when the department issued a $112,450 fine against a Motel 6 in Vancouver. An inspection revealed injuries to employees from used needles, for example, along with violations for raling to train workers or hold safety meetings.