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L&I investigating death of Dawson Construction employee hit by dump truck near Costco

Here’s what the state of Washington does to keep workers safe

Washington State Department of Labor and Industries offers an overview of the Division of Occupational Safety and Health and its three primary roles in safeguarding Washington's workplaces; education, consultation and enforcement.
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Washington State Department of Labor and Industries offers an overview of the Division of Occupational Safety and Health and its three primary roles in safeguarding Washington's workplaces; education, consultation and enforcement.

The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries has opened an investigation into the workplace fatality of man who was hit by a dump truck Monday, July 22, at a construction site near the Bellingham Costco.

“Our task is to thoroughly understand how he died and understand why he died,” Labor and Industries spokesperson Tim Church told The Bellingham Herald. “We also want to see if there are any safety issues that need to be addressed so that we can try to reduce the chances that it happens again.”

Church said the man who died worked for Dawson Construction, and the truck that hit him also was a Dawson truck.

Bellingham Police Lt. Danette Beckley said the man who died was 25 years old. The man’s name has not been released.

Because of confidentially requirements and the fact that this is an open investigation, Church said he couldn’t release many details about what actually happened, including whether the truck was moving forward or in reverse.

L&I investigators were notified of the incident by Bellingham police on Monday, Church said, and were on scene within an hour and again Tuesday morning, taking pictures, making measurements and conducting interviews to begin the investigation.

“The state requires we finish within six months, but we almost always beat that deadline,” Church told The Herald.

Emergency response crews were sent at 2:56 p.m. Monday to 4125 Arctic Ave. for the report of a traffic collision just north of Costco near Mahogany Avenue.

Mahogany Avenue opened in November, giving drivers a second way to enter the Costco parking lot. The road also will be in place for residential development in the area, including 330 homes and a 134-unit apartment complex.

Commercial projects are also in the planning stage for the area, including Pacific Place, which includes scenarios such as a 39,700-square-foot retail center and some industrial/warehouse development.

David Rasbach joined The Bellingham Herald in 2005 and now covers breaking news. He has been an editor and writer in several western states since 1994.
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