HAPPY VALLEY, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration has fined two companies for safety violations that led to the deaths of two workers at a Portland area music festival.
OSHA issued $31,000 in fines to Pickathon LLC and GuildWorks LLC after two workers died at the Pickathon Music Festival in August in a lift accident, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported.
Brandon Blackmore and Brad Swet were up in a boom lift taking down an installation when the lift, which was on an incline, tilted and fell, killing them. The Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office said that they were wearing safety equipment and were roped to the boom lift.
OSHA said two alarm devices on the boom lift had been disabled. Each company was fined $12,500 each for “serious violations: for the disabled devices.
OSHA also fined GuildWorks $6,000 for not following instructions provided by the boom lift manufacturer.
The agency said the investigation revealed that Pickathon and Guildworks had “a history of failing to follow proper safety procedures.”
Pickathon’s founder and festival director Zale Schoenborn said in a statement Thursday that the tragic loss was heartbreaking and continues to shake them to their core.
“In 2020, we are challenging ourselves to completely redesign and rethink the festival with safety even more at the forefront in an effort to create a whole new Pickathon experience that is closer to nature, closer to the ground, and closer to the audience than ever before,” he said in the statement.
GuildWorks said in a statement that the company is taking a step back from events this year to focus on training their employees to be safest they can be. The companies set up a fundraiser for the families of the men after the incident.