A 28 year old Tenino man died last week when he slipped at an Olympia construction site, hit his head on a backhoe and fell 15 feet into a ditch. The construction site was operated by Olson Brothers Excavating, Inc. This was the second construction-related death in a week in Thurston County.
Washington’s Industrial Insurance Act allows for fault-free “worker’s compensation” benefits to injured workers. Benefits are also given to the family of a worker who is killed on the job. The only catch is that an injured worker can’t sue his employer. However, if someone other than the worker’s employer caused the accident, then the worker (or his family) is entitled to bring a “third-party” lawsuit against the at-fault party. This would be the case, for example, if the worker was an independent contractor, if he was employed by a sub-contractor at the site, or if a different third-party caused the accident.
For more information on this subject matter, please refer to the section on Worksite Injuries.