A Mabton man in a tractor accidentally fell into a "manure lagoon" and drowned. His employer was punished this week.

The incident happened back in February when the 27-year-old employee drove on a road near the cow waste pit when the pond bank gave way, causing the tractor to slip into the 6-foot-deep lagoon.

After much deliberation and back-and-forth, the state office of Labor & Industries decided to lower the employer's penalty to only $2,200 and a demand to make the area safer for workers.

The ranch initially complained about its sentence because the rules were designed for pig farms. The judge said that didn't matter.

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