January 7, 1997 in City

Spokane Construction Firm Fined In Worker’s Death

By The Spokesman-Review
 

A Spokane construction company has been fined more than $12,000 for negligence in the death of a worker last September.

The state Department of Labor and Industries fined Acme Materials & Construction Co. $12,600 for its responsibility in the death of John VanKomen of Springdale, Wash.

VanKomen was hit by a company dump truck while working on Hastings Road between U.S. Highway 395 and U.S. Highway 2 in north Spokane on Sept. 25.

The department’s report said the dump truck being backed up on Hastings Road had an inoperable reverse-gear alarm and there was no signal person.

According to Wayne Brokaw, personnel manager and equal opportunity officer for the company, the truck had mechanical problems the week before VanKomen was killed.

On Sept. 20, the same truck’s alarm problem was supposed to have been repaired by Acme’s service shop, Brokaw said.

“It (the truck) had been on the site before Sept. 20,” he said. “The problem had supposedly been reported on and repaired.”

The truck also had a brake out of adjustment on the left side of the rear axle and an extensive leak in its air chamber, the state’s report said. Its rear brake lights also didn’t work, the report said.

Acme also was fined for not having its employees wear brightly visible material in a construction zone.

VanKomen briefly worked for Acme at a construction site at Ritzville, Wash., in 1995. His work at the north Spokane site in September was the first time he had worked for the company in 1996.

, DataTimes


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