UPDATE 8/22/19 – Tree Trouble of Burley has been fined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for the fatal accident.
Owner Scott Yates was fined $14,778 by OSHA for the fatality accident, and the fine was reduced in a settlement to $12,000.
According to OSHA documents, Yates was cited because there were pre-existing stress cracks more than 3 inches long present at the knuckle boom elbow where the upper and lower booms connect. Components including critical weld areas on the booms and pivot knuckles were not inspected, repaired or maintained according to manufacturer specs and industry standards. A line attachment used to cut limbs was frayed in multiple locations, torque stops and anti-spin locks were missing on the upper and lower boom sections and the company failed to maintain control operation placards on the ground controls and on the platform bucket controls.
The company was also cited for using the Reach-All articulating boom lift truck in a modified manner. The modified use subjected the boom and critical components of the boom to shock loading and sideways pulling. Employees were not required to wear a personal fall restraint system while trimming trees from the basket of the lift truck, which exposed them to potential falls of up to 75 feet. The company was additionally cited for not reporting a work-related employee death within eight hours.
The report said both employees were trimming tree limbs and a limb swung below the bucket, causing a side load on the knuckle boom. The knuckle boom arm broke and both employees fell to the ground.
Burley, ID – 28-year-old Corbin Bowers died, and 26-year-old Emmett Koyle was injured when the boom of the bucket truck they were in collapsed. Reports state that Bowers and Koyle were in the platform of a bucket truck and tied a branch off to the bucket.
They cut the branch tree and the weight of the branch pulled the bucket 60 feet to the ground.
Bowers died on impact and Koyle was transported to the hospital where he is in critical condition.
For more information; https://www.ktvb.com/article/news/local/1-dead-1-severely-injured-in-idaho-tree-trimming-accident/277-614527142?fbclid=IwAR1Ch63AA5pERCu8u-5aPKsiWA2eRZDw_3zsW4YT2IaYFYUxFQo-ciAN4Xs