Local News

State fines itself over worker's death

Posted October 22, 2015 2:43 p.m. EDT

A state worker was seriously injured April 13, 2015, when a piece of equipment fell over on him outside the State Archives downtown, authorities said.

— The state Department of Labor has levied a $5,600 fine against the state Department of Administration in connection with the April death of a state worker.

Two workers were setting up a one-man lift outside the State Archives on April 13 to work on exterior lighting when the lift toppled over and landed on Hal Rue, officials said. He died the following day at WakeMed.

Rue had served as an electrician for the state Department of Administration since September 2010.

The Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Division found a serious violation of the General Duty Clause of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of North Carolina, department spokesman Neal O'Briant said in an email to WRAL News.

The general duty clause requires employers to protect workers from on-the-job hazards where no specific rule or standard is set by law.

The two state agencies tried to reach a compromise on the finding but weren't successful, O'Briant said. The Department of Administration now has 15 days to pay the fine or contest the finding.