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Construction companies ordered to pay fines for worker death

March 8, 2022 GMT

SEATTLE (AP) — Washington state has fined two construction companies a combined $20,000 after a construction worker was killed at the downtown Seattle convention center expansion.

Bryan Phillips, 31, died in an accident at the site in September, the Seattle Times reported.

In citations, the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries said an employee was operating an 11,000-pound scissor lift extended about 27 feet (8.2 meters) into the air.

“As the employee maneuvered the lift, a wheel of the lift went over a hole that was fitted with a 3/4″ piece of plywood,” the citation said. “The plywood collapsed causing the lift to tip and fall.”

The two companies did not ensure employees operating lifts kept a safe distance from the holes and did not ensure that the coverings could support the heavy equipment being used, the agency said.

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The state ordered Performance Contracting Inc., or PCI, to pay $13,000 and ordered Clark Construction Group to pay $7,000.

In an emailed statement, Clark Construction Vice President Ben Eitan said the company has “instituted new measures to underpin our existing jobsite safety program...”

PCI did not respond to a request for comment.