Earlier this month a construction worker, Steven Dale Slee, was injured while working in a trench at a Rainier Vista construction project.
Seattle firefighters took Slee to Harborview Medical Center after 7,000 pounds of compacted dirt fell on him at a work site located at 33rd Avenue South and South Oregon Street in south Seattle.
The dirt fell from the side of the trench after a slab of compacted fill broke, the Seattle Fire Department reported. Rescuers used an airbag and ladders to reach Slee. A second construction worker, a man, was able to escape from the trench. He suffered non-life threatening injuries.
This horrible accident underscores and highlights the dangers associated with work at a construction site. These dangers are the precise reason that Washington law imposes such a strenuous burden on general contractors to maintain a safe job site. This duty cannot be delegated to subcontractors.
In serious injury and fatality accidents like this the Department of Labor and Industries investigates the accident. The investigation and its findings are often useful in later preparing and prosecuting either a personal injury or wrongful death claim.