12 from county remembered at ceremony for those killed on the job

TUMWATER — Alan and Deanna Hogue approached the cylindrical brass bell and paused to collect their emotions.

Then, as cloudy skies threatened a downpour Tuesday afternoon, Deanna Hogue told a small crowd gathered in the Worker Memorial Garden that they’d traveled from Lake Stevens to honor the memory of their 19-year-old son, Bradley, who was caught in heavy machinery while working for a landscaping company.

“He was killed on his second day of work due to severe non-safety issues. Bradley, we wish you well,” she said, her voice filled with emotion as she rang the bell.

They came outside after a 75-minute ceremony to mark Worker Memorial Day, an event held annually to remember those who died on the job. Hundreds of people filled the auditorium of the Department of Labor and Industries.

Bradley Hogue was among 89 men and women who died of work-related causes in Washington in 2014. A dozen lived in Snohomish County. Each of the names was read aloud during the ceremony and surviving family members and friends went outdoors to ring the bell.

Leaders of the state’s largest labor and private business organizations called for a renewed commitment to workplace safety. Gov. Jay Inslee said the state must strive to achieve zero workplace fatalities statewide.

“I think it is very special that they acknowledge the lack of safety in the workplace and acknowledge the fallen,” Deanna Hogue said.

There were six workers from Snohomish County who died in 2013, nine in 2012, three in 2011 and five in 2010.

The Oso mudslide accounts for a third of the county’s on-the-job deaths last year.

Self-employed electrician Ron deQuilettes, 52, was working on the new retirement home of Larry and Sandy Miller, who were also killed March 22, 2014. Family described deQuilettes as a hard-working, creative perfectionist and a dedicated father and missionary.

Steven Hadaway, Stephen Neal and William Welsh were working on the home of Amanda Lennick, 31, when the slide hit. She died along with the workers.

Hadaway was installing a cable dish. The 53-year-old Darrington man loved the wild, rural beauty of the area, his family said. He and his wife were foster parents and adopted three children.

Friends Neal, 55, and Welsh, 66, were installing a water heater. Neal lived in Darrington and is remembered as a dedicated family man who wove imaginative tales for his four grandchildren. Welsh’s generosity was well-known. He was getting ready to retire but helped with projects whenever his skills were needed, family said.

The Department of Labor and Industries did not investigate those deaths.

“In the case of the landslide deaths, there isn’t any workplace safety regulation that applies to such an event, so (Labor and Industries) didn’t have any jurisdiction,” spokeswoman Elaine Fischer said.

Investigations into five of the other eight deaths involving Snohomish County workers led to citations and fines for workplace safety violations.

The largest case, with $199,000 in fines for two willful and 14 serious violations, was Bradley Hogue’s death. The energetic, outdoorsy Lake Stevens teen was on a landscaping job with Pacific Topsoils in Duvall when he fell into a rotating auger used to distribute beauty bark. A state investigation found that workers often were asked to clean out jams while equipment was running. Pacific Topsoils is appealing those findings, Fischer said.

Ken Otto, 50, died after being struck when a faulty airbag activated on a Boeing 777. He and one other worker were injured trying to repair the device in November. Otto, an adventurous and devoted father, died Dec. 7. The other worker recovered. Four Boeing suppliers were cited. The largest fine was $11,000 for two serious violations involving Jamco America. Jamco is appealing, Fischer said.

Jeffrey Mallory, 56, worked as a lineman for Potelco Inc. and was seriously injured in a high-voltage electrical shock in 2006. He died in Woodinville in January 2014 from related health complications, Fischer said. Mallory loved sports and skiing and often surprised his wife with new pets, according to his obituary. Potelco was cited for two serious violations and paid an $11,000 fine.

Roofer Todd Quaife was injured in a January 2009 fall and died in November 2014 as a result of those injuries, Fischer said. The 45-year-old liked boxing, hiking and spending time with his four children, according to his obituary. State Roofing Inc. was cited for a repeat serious violation and fined $3,600.

James Pulliam, 58, was an avid golfer and part of a professional groundskeeping crew at the Battle Creek Golf Course in Tulalip. The Snohomish man died in March 2014 when a commercial riding lawnmower he was using flipped over and landed on him. Evergreen Golf Design was fined $2,250 for two serious safety violations.

Three deaths involving Snohomish County workers did not result in fines.

Window washer Gaetano “Guy” Arico, 34, died in November after a fall in Seattle. He is remembered as a musician and a loving father and husband. State investigators did not find any serious violations related to the accident.

Jason Keum, 42, was killed in a fight with a coworker at Sea-Tac Airport in July. During an argument with another worker, Keum was struck once and fell and cracked his skull on concrete, according to multiple news reports. Labor and Industries lists the death as a homicide and did not cite employer Korean Air.

The state department did not investigate the death of painter James Keaton, 47, who died in January 2014 of lung disease related to long term exposure to paint and thinners. The lung damage could be tied to any number of jobs over the length of his career, and often such diseases are diagnosed years after damage starts, Fischer said.

Statewide, worker deaths are up compared with the last three years, with 69 deaths in 2011, 66 in 2012 and 65 in 2013. However, last year’s total of 89 is less than the 92 deaths in 2010 and the 100-plus yearly deaths in the early 2000s.

Kari Bray: 425-339-3439; kbray@heraldnet.com.

The remembered

For a complete list of Washington workers honored at Tuesday’s event, go to www.workermemorialday.lni.wa.gov.

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