Contractor Mark Welty of North Country Services was fined $280,000, plus $12,000 in penalties to the Alaska Division of Workers’ Compensation Benefits Guaranty Fund and a $2,000 fine from the Municipality of Anchorage after employee Nicholson Tinker was killed on the job.
Welty unlawfully classified Tinker as an independent contractor in an attempt to avoid the responsibility of providing a safe and healthful work environment, along with basic employee injury and death benefits.
Tinker was killed when a cinderblock wall collapsed on him during a demolition. Welty acted with plain indifference towards the health and safety of his employees—lack of proper structural assessment, inadequate bracing and shoring for the wall, and lack of safety training for the employees.
“I hope this sends a clear message. When employers like Mark Welty endanger their workers and unlawfully classify them as independent contractors, our department will seek the strongest penalties possible,” says Alaska Labor Commissioner Heidi Drygas.