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Transportation

Contract Workers At PDX Site Safety Concerns And Exposure To Hazardous Materials

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Photo credit: starush/FeaturePics.com
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At Oregon's largest airport, hundreds of behind-the-scenes staff are working to accommodate the holiday crowds.

Many workers at Portland International Airport are employed by airline subcontractors. Some of them say their employers aren't providing the tools needed to do their jobs safely and efficiently.

Matthew Johnson refuels planes for Aircraft Service International Group.

Johnson: "So, we have a slow drip that we have to cover up with special fuel pads that absorb jet fuel. We have to deal with the smell and the caustic chemicals throughout the day by changing out pads, so we’re exposed to jet fuel."

The aircraft contractor says it is an industry leader in fueling services at more than fifty airports worldwide.

In a survey this fall of workers at PDX, 41-percent reported exposure to hazardous materials, including jet fuel.