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October 10, 2008

L&I and Lease Crutcher Lewis settle appeal over safety violations

TUMWATER – The Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) and Lease Crutcher Lewis have settled an appeal of the safety violations that were cited following the collapse of a tower crane in Bellevue in November 2006.

L&I agreed to modify one violation, and the second violation was affirmed. Lease Crutcher Lewis agreed to pay the penalty of $9,200, which was the amount originally cited, and to not appeal any further.

One violation cited the company for failing to ensure that the crane was inspected and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications. That language was modified to state that the employer did not obtain third-party oversight of the design of the non-standard tower crane base in use at its Tower 333 work site. The new crane safety law signed by the Governor in 2007 requires this third-party oversight.

A second violation, specifically not related to the crane failure, had to do with installing a sign on the tower crane that exceeded size recommendations. The violation was affirmed, and L&I acknowledged that its investigation found no evidence that the sign contributed in any way to the collapse of the tower crane.

"We're pleased that L&I and Lease Crutcher Lewis were able to arrive at an agreement that furthers our cooperative efforts to create safer workplaces," said Steve Cant, assistant director for L&I's Division of Occupational Safety and Health. "Lease Crutcher Lewis continues to have an outstanding safety record with L&I, as shown by the company's inspection history and lower than average workers’ compensation claims costs."

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For media information: Elaine Fischer, L&I, 360-902-5413

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