A workplace accident at Zodiac Cabin & Structure Support in Newport, Washington in July of 2015 has led to a massive 1.3M fine. Seventeen Workers were injured in the flammable vapors explosion at the aerospace plant after a defective curing oven (which should not have been in service) exploded.
Washington’s Department of Labor and Industries issued 17 willful violations and 18 serious violations for Zodiac’s failure to require safety interlocks and safeguards to ensure curing ovens were used safely.
In Washington, employers may be liable in tort for injuries to their employees if the employer is found guilty of intentional negligence. In Birklid v. Boeing, “intentional injuries” were broadened to include injuries where the employer had actual knowledge that an injury was certain to occur and willfully disregarded that knowledge. Employees may, under certain circumstances, bring a civil action against their employer in Washington. Such an action could be an option to the Zodiac workers involved in the July 2015 explosion.