LAKE STEVENS, Wash. -- The State Department of Labor and Industries has fined an Everett landscaping company nearly $200,000 for numerous safety violations related to the death of a teenage worker who had been on the job for only two days.
“Sometimes I feel like it's not real,” said Alan Hogue, who added that it’s still hard to believe that his son Bradley is no longer with them.
Six months ago, the 19-year-old was killed while working at a job site for Pacific Topsoils. It was only his second day on the job.
“I asked him not to work, just focus on school,” said Deanna Hogue, Bradley’s mother. “He just wanted it for the summertime to earn a little pocket money.”
“It was a bark company, so I thought he’d be throwing bark around, physical labor,” added Alan. “I had no idea there was machinery around that could kill him.”
Bradley was working in a hopper when he fell and was killed by a rotating auger.
“That to me is the most horrific death,” Alan said Tuesday. “I don't know if he died instantly or slowly.”
The Department of Labor and Industries has now cited Pacific Topsoils for multiple safety violations. They say Hogue’s death could have been prevented if basic safety rules were in effect. His parents agree.
“If you have to be in that situation, there should have been a cutoff switch,” Alan said. “When he falls, it pulls it loose and shuts it down. There also should have been someone watching him.”
The company released this statement: “While we fully embrace the practice changes and improvements recommended by L&I, Pacific Topsoils will exercise its right to appeal the proposed violations.”
The Hogues say they just want to make sure no other worker is put in an unsafe position.
“Talk to your children,” Deanna said. “Tell them that saying no is OK. No job is worth jeopardizing your life. If we can prevent this from happening to another child, another family, that's our mission.”