A Vancouver, WA-based construction company has been hit with the largest fine allowed by WA state law, following a tragic incident that resulted in a teen worker losing both their legs.

 Teen was dragged under the blade of a trenching machine

Rotschy LLC, the company, was a participant in a work-based program that allows minors to perform certain duties to train for careers in that industry. In this case, the 16-year-old was part of that program.

The company had permits to allow certain duties that are normally not allowed to be performed by those under the age of 18, but the machine the teen was operating was not one of those.

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He was part of a training program that offered training outside of the classroom.  While working on a job site near LaCenter, WA, the teen was operating a trenching machine, digging a channel for the installation of fence posts.

The teen apparently slipped or fell, and was dragged under the blade of the machine. His lower legs were so badly injured they had to be amputated.

  Labor and Industries imposes a maximum fine, calling negligence willful

The fine, totaling just over $156,000, was the maximum allowed by WA state law. L & I said in a statement:

 "The violation is considered “willful” because the company knew or should have known the requirements, but still failed to meet them. It’s also classified as “serious” because the issues could, and in this case did, lead to serious injury or death."

L & I ordered the company to suspend its teen onsite work training program immediately.

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Gallery Credit: Katelyn Leboff

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