The state Department of Labor & Industries fined a Seattle construction company over $100,000 for willfully violating safety rules in the fall, when two workers were severely burned after a crane touched a power line.
A Seattle construction company and two of its subcontractors have been fined and cited for safety violations in connection with a September incident in which two workers were critically injured after a crane touched an overhead power line, according to the state Department of Labor & Industries (L&I).
Marpac Construction, which was fined $133,500, is appealing its citation for six workplace-safety violations, three of which were deemed “willful.” The Kirkland-based Spartan Concrete, which was ordered to pay $90,000 in fines, is also appealing five violations, including two that were willful, says an L&I news release issued Monday.
A willful violation is one where L&I finds evidence of plain indifference or an intentional disregard to a hazard or rule. A serious violation is one where there is a substantial probability that worker death or serious physical harm could result from a hazardous condition.
Two workers suffered severe burns and seven more were endangered on Sept. 12 at the construction site at 42nd Avenue Southwest and Southwest Oregon Street in West Seattle, according to news reports and the L&I release.
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A second contractor, Shaffer Crane & Equipment Inc., was cited for three serious violations and one general violation and fined $5,700, the release says. The company has until Friday to file an appeal.
“L&I investigators at the site found that a mobile crane and a forklift with a crane-boom attachment had been operating under live high-voltage power lines. The power lines were scheduled to be moved underground, but rather than wait for that work to be done, the companies continued to work under them,” the L&I news release says.
Due to the severity of the workers’ injuries, both Marpac Construction and Spartan Concrete have been identified as severe violators and are subject to follow-up inspections to determine if the conditions still exist, says the release, which notes L&I issued an alert in 2012 warning companies of the deadly hazard after receiving reports of six power-line contacts by cranes during a six-month period.
According to L&I, money paid as a result of citations is placed in the workers’ compensation supplemental pension fund, helping workers and families of those who have died on the job.