The Hawaii Occupational Safety and Health Division (HIOSH) has issued citations and fines against a company that builds zip-line courses in connection with the death of a worker on the Big Island last year.
HIOSH says a tower collapsed because the soil in which the ground anchors were installed didn’t withstand the load from the tower, cable and test rider. The safety agency says GoZip failed to take reasonable precautions to assure the anchors could support the load. Penalties total $13,500.
Citations against GoZip include failure to:
- do everything reasonable and necessary to protect the life, safety and health of employees by not assuring the ground anchors and guy cable system could support the loads imposed by the tower, ziplines and weight of riders without failure
- assure the side rails of an extension ladder extended at least three feet above the edge of a landing surface, and
- ensure employees riding the zipline used helmets.
GoZip plans to contest the citations and fines.
Two employees were making adjustments to the line after it had been in operation for about a week. One employee was test riding the zipline and another was on the platform of a tower when the ground anchors supporting the tower abruptly pulled out of the ground. The poles that held the platform came out of the ground and the tower collapsed.
The employee riding the zipline, Ted Callaway of Lahaina, Hawaii, fell about 200 feet and suffered fatal injuries. The employee on the platform, Curtis Wright of Miamisburg, Ohio, fell about 30 feet and suffered serious injuries.
The area where the zipline is located is difficult to reach. It took first responders 18 minutes to get to the men. When they arrived, Callaway was already dead.
The company that handled reservations for the zipline tours on the course suspended tours after the incident until a full evaluation of the lines could be completed.