State reduces penalty for Lake Stevens safety violations

On appeal, Labor and Industries reduced a $19,800 penalty regarding public works employee safety by $3,600.

LAKE STEVENS — State labor officials reduced $19,800 in penalties against the city of Lake Stevens for workplace safety violations.

An appeal led the state to decrease the amount by $3,600 last week.

Earlier this year, the state Department of Labor and Industries alleged 20 violations by the city’s public works department, alleging that employees worked in confined storm vaults without a permit or adequate training and cleaned up parks without being trained about health risks, among dozens of other issues.

Of those violations, 13 were deemed “serious,” where work conditions put employees at risk of death or serious harm, according to state standards.

The city appealed 10 of the serious violations.

L&I heard the city’s appeal in late August and modified three decisions on Oct. 14. The city now must pay $16,200.

Lake Stevens can appeal again.

Mayor Brett Gailey said city officials will meet next week to discuss next steps. The mayor said one of his top priorities for the city is earning accreditation from the American Public Works Association.

In its Oct. 14 decision, L&I grouped two violations related to confined-space entry under a single $1,800 penalty “because they involve similar or related hazards.”

Confined spaces include storm vaults, manholes, tunnels, ducts or silos, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Over 1,000 workers died from occupational injuries involving a confined space from 2011 to 2018, the violation decision states.

Public works crews described entry into a stormwater basin in January 2021, according to the L&I inspector’s notes. An employee told the inspector the last time public works crews were trained in confined-space entry was 2016.

“We winged it,” the employee reported.

State guidelines allow similar violations to be lumped together, because if an employer corrects one violation they are likely to also correct those that are related, said L&I spokesperson Dina Lorraine in an email.

L&I also downgraded a serious violation about the city’s lack of an adequate accident prevention plan.

All other cited violations were affirmed, the decision says.

Corrective action is due by Nov. 10.

Isabella Breda: 425-339-3192; Twitter: @BredaIsabella.

Talk to us

More in Local News

The Monroe Correctional Complex on Thursday, April 9, 2020. Inmates held a demonstration on Wednesday night after six inmates tested positive for COVID-19. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Another outbreak sends 60 to isolation at Monroe prison unit

One worker and one prisoner tested positive Monday. Then more cases were found throughout the Twin Rivers Unit.

A fatal crash prompted closure of West Mukilteo Boulevard between Forest Park and Dogwood Drive Friday afternoon. (Everett Police Department) 20211126
2 dead, 1 injured in T-bone crash in Everett

The two people who died are believed to be in their 80s. Police don’t suspect alcohol, drugs or speed played a role.

Resident escapes burning trailer near Gold Bar

Nobody was injured in the fire Saturday, but the home was destroyed.

1 dead, 3 injured in 5-car crash east of Stanwood

Katrina Kakalecik, 27, of Granite Falls, was a passenger in an SUV that was rear-ended on Thanksgiving.

A woman walks a dog in downtown Snohomish on Oct. 22. (Sue Misao / The Herald)
Snohomish adopts sales tax for mental health, affordable housing

The city’s new 0.1% tax is also under consideration elsewhere in Snohomish County.

Kyle Wheeler listens as he is convicted of second-degree manslaughter in Snpohomish County Superior Court on Thursday August 12, 2021 in Everett, Wash. ( Ellen Dennis /The Herald)
When killer skipped prison date, family’s mourning turned to fear

A judge sentenced Kyle Wheeler for killing an Everett man, Charles Hatem, then freed him on a promise to report to prison.

Michael Ciaravino
Ex-Mill Creek manager gets $92K severance after rocky tenure

Deputy City Manager Martin Yamamoto has temporarily taken over after Michael Ciaravino’s resignation.

Shawneri Guzman, center, who was named Washington's Fire Educator of the Year and her team of Community Resource firefighter paramedics Janette Anderson, left, and Captain Nicole Picknell, right, at the Lynnwood Fire Station on Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021 in Lynnwood, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
A pandemic playbook, used nationally, was made in Snohomish County

South County Fire helped transport “patient zero.” Their COVID manual has helped departments far and wide.

Charges: Everett ID thief tried to buy wheels, speakers, more

The man, 33, was charged this week with 10 counts of identity theft in Snohomish County Superior Court.

Most Read