Target fined $21K for worker’s death at store in Lake Stevens

LAKE STEVENS — The state Department of Labor and Industries has fined Target $21,000 in connection with a worker’s death at the Lake Stevens store in June.

The store had three serious violations of workplace safety laws, according to the state’s findings released Monday. Each violation carries a $7,000 fine.

Target is appealing the fines. A hearing will be scheduled in the coming weeks.

Marjorie M. Reed, 58, of Snohomish, suffered fatal head injuries on June 7 after falling from a ladder. It happened while she was retrieving something from an upper-level shelf about 5:15 a.m. She was stocking shelves.

The store in the Frontier Village area did not properly train employees on using ladders, including the 10-foot portable model that Reed had been using, according to the report.

All three safety findings were related to how employees used ladders. One finding was for allowing workers to lean over the sides of ladders. Another was for allowing employees to climb down ladders while carrying product in their hands. The third finding was for having Reed use a ladder with a bent footing. The structural problem may have contributed to the accident.

The store was supposed to fix the problems by Friday.

L&I investigates workplace deaths across the state. In Snohomish County, fines for safety problems have been levied in recent months for deaths from a forklift accident in Lynnwood, a lawn-mower crash in Tulalip and an electrocution in Edmonds.

Car crashes and falls are the most common causes of workplace deaths in the county, according to state data.

The Minneapolis-based Target corporation did not return requests for comment for this story.

Rikki King: 425-339-3449; rking@heraldnet.com.

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