520 Bridge construction company investigating employee drinking

520 Bridge construction company investigating employee drinking »Play Video
SEATTLE -- For the first time since our Problem Solvers hidden camera investigation broke the story of drinking on the job at the 520 Bridge project, representatives from the contracting company are talking.

A spokesman from Kiewit Construction said the company will do whatever it takes to investigate and fix the problems our investigation revealed.

Company spokesman Tom Janssen says there are now people on the ground talking to workers to figure out the extent of the drinking and how it happened in the first place.

"Kiewit will do what it takes to make this right," Janssen said.

Our hidden cameras caught worker after worker with beers in their hands in the middle of the afternoon. Janssen said the work day at the company's Bellevue office is typically over at 3:30 p.m., and he believes the drinking started after that. Despite that, he said alcohol is prohibited at all times.

"So this is a safety issue. This is a quality issue for our company. This is a people issue for our company," Janssen said.

A source who asked to remain anonymous said workers at the office drank every day of the week.

"It's allowed and comfortable to be drinking alcohol on the job," the source said.

After our first story aired, a second whistleblower came forward to say KGM supervisors at a different 520 Bridge site also drank, typically at the end of their shift.

Now Kiewit will investigate all four major 520 project work sites in the area to see if there is alcohol use at any of them. They will also examine the quality of all the work done to ensure quality hasn't been compromised.

Janssen couldn't give a timetable for the investigation or say what kind of discipline employees might face, but he did promise to fix the problem as quickly as possible.

The company has already scheduled training sessions with counselors to talk to employees about alcohol use. The company CEO also sent an email to all employees on Thursday to reinforce that drinking at the jobsite is a violation of company policy and state law.