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May 19, 1998

Mill Creek contractor fined for worker safety violations

TUMWATER -- The state Department of Labor & Industries has fined a Mill Creek contractor for willfully violating worker safety rules including fall protection, excavation and impalement hazards during the construction of a sewage lift station in Redmond last winter. McClure & Sons., Inc., of Mill Creek, was fined $86,320, for multiple violations of worker protection rules.

Under the Washington Industrial Safety and Health Act (WISHA), employers are required to train, equip and protect their workers from the safety and health hazards of the worksite. The violations included three willful, one repeat serious, six serious and two general violations.

The willful violations indicate that the employer intentionally violated worker protection rules, or exhibited plain indifference that a violation was ocurring and failed to take corrective action. Specifically, McClure was cited for three willful violations, including:

  • Fall protection. Employees were exposed to falls from top of the lift station walls and tripping hazards on the walls. Employer failed to have a written fall protection plan and failed to train workers on fall protection measures. ($27,000 penalty)
  • Cave-in hazards. Employer failed to ensure that workers were protected from cave-in hazards in on-site excavations as required. ($18,000)
  • Rebar impalement. Employer failed to cover vertically protruding rebar in working/walking areas where workers could have been impaled. ($15,000)

A repeat serious (employer was previously cited for same violation) was issued for the employer's failure to address crane requirements, including training, inspections and operations. ($14,400)

The citation also included six serious violations, for:

  • Crane inspection requirements. ($2,800)
  • Crane operator requirements. ($2,400) (note: news release language on this item clarified 6/11/98).
  • Access ramp hazards. ($2,000)
  • Failing to cover all wells, pits and shafts to protect workers from falls. ($1,680)
  • Electrical wiring hazards. ($1,600)
  • Failing to require workers to wear fall protection when working from a rebar curtain.. ($1,440) (note: news release language on this item clarified 6/11/98).

There also were two general violations for failing to hold weekly leader/crew safety meetings and conduct weekly walk-around inspections of the jobsite. No penalties.

The employer has 15 working days from receipt of the violation report to appeal.

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