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Oregon’s Pickathon Ad GuildWorks Face Fines Over Festival Worker Deaths

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SALEM, OR (CelebrityAccess) — Oregon’s Occupational Health & Safety Administration has hit two companies with more than $30,000 in fines following the death of two workers at the site of the Pickathon Music Festival in Happy Valley.

The fines, totaling $31,000 were levied against Pickathon LLC and production subcontractor GuildWorks LLC after OSHA found the two companies failed to comply with safety rules governing the operation of a boom lift.

The two workers who were killed in August during the teardown following Pickathon 2019 when the boom lift they were operating tipped over. According to OSHA, the two workers were on the lift platform approximately 40 feet in the air when the accident occurred.

OSHA determined that the workers failed to follow safety rules that included keeping safety alarm devices activated.

According to OSHA, two alarm devices on the boom lift intended to notify operators that the lift was on uneven ground, and to prevent workers from becoming pinned, had been disabled at the time of the accident.

Both companies were fined $12,500 over the alarms.

“It is an employer’s responsibility to make sure that safety rules are followed for the very purpose of protecting workers from such tragedies,” said Michael Wood, administrator for Oregon OSHA. “This is a time to pause and remember that two people died, leaving behind family and friends. And it is a time to remind ourselves that this accident was entirely preventable.”

GuildWorks also received a $6,000 fine for failing to follow the boom lift manufacturer’s operating and maintenance instructions for the equipment.

Following the levying of the fines, Pickathon founder and director Zale Schoenborn said the festival is focused on event safety for its staff and customers.

“The tragic loss that the families of Brad and Brandon, Pickathon, GuildWorks, and the larger festival community suffered last year was absolutely heartbreaking and continues to shake us to our core. We have always focused on safety with the same passion that we bring to producing the festival experience, and in our twenty-one-year history this was our first serious accident. 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.”

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