Washington State Manufacturer Fined Nearly $100,000 After Worker Death

Washington State Manufacturer Fined Nearly $100,000 After Worker Death

A roofing product manufacturer failed to follow basic lockout/tagout which led to the death of an employee.

A lack of basic lockout/tagout procedures at a roofing product manufacturer has been directly connected to the death of an employee following an inspection by the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries.

According to a press release, IKO pacific failed to control the power supply to dangerous equipment and failed to properly supervise work in confined spaces. The company has been cited for 17 serious and one general violation following an investigation into the fatality on July 17, 2021.

“It was clear this company knew what needed to be done since they had plans in place that, if properly implemented, could have prevented this tragedy,” said Craig Blackwood, L&I assistant director in the press release. “Lockout/tagout and energy control are fundamental safety measures that have long been commonplace on worksites. Tragic accidents like this one show exactly why they continue to be important.”

The investigation found that IKO Pacific was not following their own energy control and lockout procedures. The company failed to have an authorized employee specifically responsibly for ensuring the safety of a tank.

L&I also found that the company was also not ensuring safe work in a confined space, resulting in 10 of the 17 serious violations. Specifically, the company was cited for failure to supervise and coordinate entry into the confined space, failure to prevent unauthorized entry and failure to provide adequate rescue.

L&I has proposed penalties amounting to $98,000.

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