State fines PUD $6,000 for worker’s fatal fall in May

EVERETT — The Snohomish County Public Utility District recently paid $6,000 in state fines in connection with a worker’s May 18 death.

Alan “Al” Speed, 61, fell about a dozen feet from a mezzanine at the PUD warehouse, according to an investigation by the state Department of Labor and Industries. The mezzanine was missing part of its guardrail. Days later, Speed succumbed to his injuries at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

Speed had been clearing the edge of the mezzanine so a loaded pallet could be placed nearby, documents show. The state considered the lack of fall prevention measures on the mezzanine a serious violation of workplace safety laws.

The PUD did not appeal the fine and made the payment in September. The Daily Herald obtained the state’s citation earlier this week.

The PUD has been working with an outside consultant to “assess and correct any potential safety hazards,” particularly related to falls, General Manager Craig Collar said Thursday in a prepared statement. Falls are a leading cause of workplace deaths in Washington.

“Our focus has been on doing everything we can for Al’s family and our employees following this tragic accident,” said Collar, who is also the CEO.

Speed had worked for the agency for 37 years, starting as a meter reader and later becoming a planner. The U.S. Navy veteran was married and had two children, according to his obituary. A celebration of life was held at Cascade High School in June.

Rikki King: 425-339-3449; Twitter: @rikkiking.

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