Viking Cabinets Inc., a Spanaway, Washington, cabinet shop, has been cited by the state's Department of Labor & Industries for 29 serious health and safety violations, officials announced.

Viking was accused of exposing workers to fire hazards from flammable liquids, chemical exposure and other workplace health risks. The violations carry fines ranging from $1,600 to $4,200 and total $107,000.

According to a release from Labor & Industries, "Eight of the serious violations were related to unsafe use and storage of flammable liquids, vapors and spray. The inspecition found that large quantities of flammable liquids were kept in the work area where they could contribute to a fire instead of being safely stored away. Ventilation wasn't adequate for removing flammable vapors and mists from the air to prevent fire. Combustible fine wood dust had accumulated on the electrical system and other surfaces in the shop, creating an additional fire hazard."

Furthermore, officals said an inspection determined workers had to enter a dust collection bag house without required space safety precautions in place. Officials cited Viking Cabinets for 13 violations relating to confined space hazards.

Labor & Industries officials said Viking had already taken steps to remedy the workplace violations, but Randy Larson, owner of Viking Cabinets, took issue with the citations in a published report. He was quoted in The News Tribune as saying, "I think it's pretty unfair. A lot of the things that are on there are questionable. We are going to appeal. We've been in business a long time, and we've never had anything like this happen to us before."

State regulations allow the company 15 days to appeal the citation.

According to the shop's website, Viking Cabinets was founded in 1974 when Larson started the company in his parents' basement. Today, the company has a 12,000-square-foot facility with finishing shop and builds custom cabinets for customers throughout the state of Washington.


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