Affordable Landscaping and Tree Service of Westminster was cited for three serious workplace violations and fined $12,600 by OSHA related to the death of Nicholas Kallio. The Fitchburg man died after falling from the bucket of the cherry-picker just after cutting off the top of a pine tree at this job site in Leominster in April. SENTINEL & ENTERPRISE FILE PHOTO
OSHA fines Westminster contractor in tree death
By Cliff Clark, email@example.com
Updated: 10/08/2016 06:30:59 AM EDT
SPRINGFIELD, MASS. -- The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued three citations and fined the Westminster-based Affordable Landscaping and Tree Service $12,600 for several workplace violations that resulted in the death of one its workers last April.
On April 7, Nicholas Kallio, 26, of Fitchburg died after falling more than 50 feet from a cherry-picker bucket just after cutting off the top of a pine tree at a home on Flaggler Road in Leominster.
According to the homeowner watching the work that rainy afternoon, as the top of the tree began to fall, it struck the bucket Kallio, who was not wearing a safety harness, was standing in and catapulted him out to the ground below.
Kallio died from his injuries several hours later at HealthAlliance Hospital in Leominster.
The formal citation issue by OHSA listed several violations by Affordable Landscaping and Tree Service of federal safety regulations, including not providing a workplace free from recognized hazards that were likely to cause death or serious physical harm, not requiring a harness when working from a lift truck, and not completing a written workplace hazard assessment before beginning a job.
OSHA detailed the steps the company must comply with, including methods to control the fall of a tree once cut, providing detailed step-by-step instructions for felling a tree to employees, insuring that appropriate devices, like a crane, are used to control the direction where a tree may fall, and requiring that an employee working above ground on an aerial lift be attached by a harness or lanyard.
The citations and fine were issued July 29 to Affordable Landscaping and Tree Service. The company, owned by Justin Bergeron, had five days to implement the safety regulations and pay the $12,600 fine.
Sam King, assistant area director of safety for OSHA, said he couldn't provide any additional information about the safety violations.
Messages left with the business on Friday morning and afternoon were not returned.
At the time of the accident, Affordable had never been cited for a workplace safety violation by OSHA.