Wash. Rev. Code § 49.17 requires a safe place of work for workmen. It does not limit it to employees of the defendant employer. A worker who is lawfully on the premises in pursuit of his own employment and at the invitation of the third part is entitled to the benefit of the statute and the regulation. The regulation was a safeguard for the public generally which necessarily included a workman making a delivery who was not an employee of the defendant.
Plaintiff brought an action for personal injuries he suffered when he was unloading goods at the company's place of business. He fell from a loading platform which lacked a guardrail required by a safety regulation of the Department of Labor and Industries, pursuant to statutory authority.
Did violation of an administrative safety regulation constitute negligence per se?
The court reversed the decision of the trial court. The court held that the trial court should have considered the violation of a regulation which required public hearings and considerable notice to be had prior to its adoption, was negligence per se. The court rejected the argument that plaintiff was outside the scope of the regulation, because he was employed by the shipping company and was not an employee of the company where he was unloading. The court held that the statute mandated regulations designed to create a safe workplace for workers, not just employees.