State officials found safety violations in the death of Harold Felton, 36, who was killed Jan. 26 outside a West Seattle home during a sewer-repair project.
A proposed $51,500 in fines for safety violations has been issued to a Seattle contractor in the death of a construction worker after a trench collapsed on him in West Seattle, the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries announced Thursday.
Harold Felton, 36, died Jan. 26 outside a home at 36th Avenue Southwest and Southwest Hanford Street during a sewer-repair project. Rescuers were unable to dig him out and save his life after dirt walls in the 7-foot-deep and just under 2-foot-wide trench collapsed and buried him, according to a department news release.
Alki Construction has been cited for a willful violation with a $35,000 penalty for not ensuring that trenches and excavations 4 feet deep or more had a protective system to prevent the dirt sides from caving in, the news release said.
It also was cited for five serious violations, with fines totaling $16,500, for not having a formal accident-prevention program; the lack of a ladder, ramp or safe means of exit; undermined sidewalks and structures that weren’t supported; excavated dirt and other materials placed less than 2 feet from the trench where they could fall in; and no daily inspections to monitor changing soil conditions.
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One general violation was issued for not ensuring walk-around safety inspections were documented.
As a result of the violations, Alki has been identified as a severe violator subject to follow-up inspections, according to the news release.
The company has 15 working days to appeal.
Attempts to reach a representative of the company were not immediately successful.