The hazards of asbestos cannot be overlooked. However, some people continue to do just that, endangering the lives of many unsuspecting people. Such individuals who scoff at safety guidelines geared toward protecting the public should not go unpunished, and that is what recently happened to one Washington man.
A man who claimed to be a licensed and trained asbestos removal contractor will serve time in jail, pay thousands in fines, not just for lying about his credentials but also for exposing clients and employees – including his son – to asbestos. When inhaled, the tiny fibers from asbestos may lead to illnesses such as cancer and mesothelioma.
Unlicensed and unqualified
Derrick Boss pleaded guilty in June to the felonies of forgery and second-degree theft, and to four misdemeanors – two counts of contracting without a license and two violations of the Washington Clean Air Act.
The owner of Above and Beyond Asbestos Removal in Bothell, Boss will serve 105 days in jail and must pay more than $13,000 in restitution to clients who paid him to remove asbestos from their homes.
Boss has had previous run-ins with state authorities. In 2018, the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries decertified Boss’s credentials as an asbestos abatement contractor. Boss currently owes the state agency more than $500,000 in fines for 13 violations related to two inspections from June 2021.
Son did work in street clothes
One of Boss’s clients requested that his company remove asbestos-contaminated flooring. State inspectors discovered that Boss’s son – who was not a certified asbestos worker – performing the work on the property.
In addition, Boss did not provide adequate protection for his son. Inspectors found the younger Boss removing the asbestos flooring while dressed in street clothes and without respiratory protection. Asbestos removal workers typically wear disposable coveralls and respiratory gear.
Others face health repercussions
While Boss’s punishment is nearly immediate, others may suffer due to his reckless actions. Some of his homeowner clients and employees –including his son – may face health-related repercussions decades from now due to asbestos exposure.