State regulators are investigating after a construction worker was killed in an accident Monday at the expansion site of the Washington State Convention Center in downtown Seattle.
Bryan Phillips, 31, was a second-generation plasterer and an 11-year member of the Cement Masons & Plasterers Local 528, according to a GoFundMe page established by the union’s business agent. The King County Medical Examiner identified Phillips Tuesday and ruled his death an accident.
Authorities have not yet described the nature of the accident. The state Department of Labor and Industries has begun an investigation but is still in the early stages, a spokesperson said.
During his career, Phillips “made a lot of good friends in the industry as he worked on some very high profile projects,” the GoFundMe says.
Clark Construction Group and Lease Crutcher Lewis are the general contractors on the convention center project, operating as a joint venture. L&I has also identified Performance Contracting Inc., or PCI, and Auburn Mechanical as companies “connected to the site,” a spokesperson said.
“Clark/Lewis temporarily suspended construction operations and is cooperating with local authorities and Washington State Department of Labor and Industries’ representatives to conduct a full investigation into this matter,” Ben Eitan, Clark Construction vice president, said in a statement. “Nothing is more important than the safety of the people on our job sites.”
Doug Schumacher, executive vice president of construction at Auburn Mechanical, said Friday none of the company’s employees were working in the area of the accident and that it is one of many subcontractors on the project.
“The Auburn Mechanical family is deeply saddened by the accident on Sept 20th. Our hearts go out to the loved ones of Bryan Phillips, and to his brothers and sisters of the Cement Masons & Plasterers Local 528,” Schumacher said in an email.
“Auburn Mechanical is one of dozens of subcontractors and hundreds of workers on the Convention Center project,” Schumacher said. “None of our employees were injured or working in the area of the accident. Along with the other subcontractors working on site, and the general contractor, we will offer any assistance we can to support the investigation process of this accident.”
PCI could not be reached for comment.
The $1.9 billion expansion of the Washington State Convention Center began in 2018. The Pine Street Group is the project’s developer. The project encountered financial trouble during the pandemic and politicians floated the idea of a bailout before the project secured additional private funding. The convention center’s addition is expected to open next summer.
The last construction-site fatality in Seattle was in June, when a construction worker on the Highway 520 Montlake Project was killed, according to L&I.
Amanda Zhou and Miyoko Wolf contributed to this report.