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AGO 1951 No. 72 - June 18, 1951
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Smith Troy | 1941-1952 | Attorney General of Washington

WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION ‑- EXTRAHAZARDOUS EMPLOYMENT ‑- CLERKS

Chapter 246, Laws of 1951, makes extrahazardous that work performed by persons primarily engaged in maintaining in repair or in condition fixed or established property or in rendering service in and about the care of fixed or established property, and does not in any way refer to clerks primarily employed to render services to others.

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                                                                   June 18, 1951

Honorable A. M. Johnson
Director
Department of Labor and Industries
Olympia, Washington                                                                                                                Cite as:  AGO 51-53 No. 72

Attention:  !ttJohn Shaughnessy, Supervisor
            of Industrial Insurance

Dear Sir:

            In your letter of June 6 you ask the following question:

            Is the work performed by clerks declared to be extrahazardous by chapter 246, Laws of 1951?

            You are advised:

            Chapter 246, Laws of 1951, makes extrahazardous that work performed by persons primarily engaged in maintaining in repair or in condition fixed or established property or in rendering service in and about the care of fixed or established property, and does not in any way refer to clerks primarily employed to render services to others.

                                                                     ANALYSIS

             [[Orig. Op. Page 2]]

            As we construe chapter 246, Laws of 1951, it is constitutional and does not fall within the rulings of the court in either Petroleum Lease Properties Co. v. Huse, 195 Wash. 254, 80 P. (2d) 774, orSwedish Hospital Etc. v. Department of Labor and Industries, 26 Wn. (2d) 820, 176 P. (2d) 429.

            The title of chapter 246, Laws of 1951, is restricted to work performed "* * * by maintenance and service employees in stores, buildings and establishments * * *."  A maintenance man is one whose work consists primarily of maintaining in repair or in condition fixed or established property.  Chapter 247, Laws of 1947, p. 1004.

            The words "and service" are restricted in context to the meaning of the word "maintenance" which they follow.  They do not enlarge that meaning; they could have no larger meaning in the body of the act.

            It follows, therefore, that chapter 246 declares to be extrahazardous that work performed by employees in stores or buildings or establishments in and about the maintenance or care of those stores, buildings or establishments.

            As an example:  An elevator operator in a building is engaged in extrahazardous work as a service employee.  A plumber would be a maintenance employee, and a janitor could be either a service employee, or both, depending upon the nature of his services.  If the janitor washed floors, he would be a service employee; if he also made minor repairs, he would be a maintenance and a service employee.

            You will, therefore, construe chapter 246, Laws of 1951, as making extrahazardous that work performed by a maintenance employee as herein defined, a service employee as herein defined, or either, or both, but excluding all other work.

Very truly yours,

SMITH TROY
Attorney General

E. P. DONNELLY
Assistant Attorney General

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