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Oct. 14, 2004

Central Washington contractor fined for fall-protection violations

TUMWATER — The Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) has issued citations totaling $27,750 to a Pasco employer for violations of workplace safety rules that protect workers from fall hazards. This is the fourth time the employer, L-L Tri Cities Construction, has been cited for fall-protection violations in two years.

L&I inspectors were conducting routine inspections in a residential construction area when they observed four workers on a rooftop 18 feet off the ground. None of the workers was using fall protection equipment. Fall protection is required when working at heights greater than 10 feet.

The employer was cited for three "willful" violations and one "serious" violation of the safety standards for fall protection.

"Serious" violations are those where there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from an existing condition, and "willful" is cited when the department finds an employer intentionally or knowingly violated rules or knew that a violation was occurring and was plainly indifferent to correcting it.

The company has 15 days to appeal the citation.

L&I's WISHA (Washington State Industrial Safety and Health Act) program conducts about 7,000 workplace inspections each year. In addition, WISHA offers free consultations, workshops, videos and training resources (www.LNI.wa.gov/Safety/) to help employers meet safety and health requirements and promote safety in their workplaces.

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For media information: Elaine Fischer, L&I, 360-902-5413 or nele235@LNI.wa.gov, or visit the L&I News and Media Center at www.LNI.wa.gov/News.

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