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Friday, August 10, 2012 - Page updated at 08:30 p.m.

Worker left dangling after mishap on Legislative Building

By John Dodge
The Olympian

Cleaning of the Legislative Building was suspended indefinitely Thursday after a platform similar to that used by window washers gave way, leaving one worker suspended by his life line 40 feet above the ground for about two minutes, according to officials at the state Department of Enterprise Services.

The employee of Seattle-based Western Waterproofing Co., who has not been identified, was pulled to safety on the fourth-floor roof by a co-worker just as Olympia Fire Department personnel arrived on the scene about 7:10 a.m. to assist.

Work on the $1.148 million project will not resume until all the scaffolding and equipment are checked, and the dozen or so employees assigned to the job go through additional safety training, Enterprise Services spokesman Jim Erskine said.

There were two workers in the rectangular mobile platform preparing to pressure-wash a portion of the Legislative Building.

It was not immediately clear how the second worker reached safety.

The project to perform critical exterior repairs and clean the upper two-thirds of the building began in late July and was to be completed in early November.

The Capitol Dome is typically scrubbed clean every five years, but the work scheduled for 2009 was placed on hold because of the bleak state budget picture.

The current contract also includes tackling leaks in the historic sandstone structure.

Enterprise Services maintains the Capitol Campus and its buildings.

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