OSHA fines Wilsonville company $14k after falling tree branch kills Klamath Falls worker

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. —A local woman says she’s been waiting 6 months for information about the death of her grandpa. Now, she’s finally getting some answers after an OSHA report was released, exactly 7 months after his death.

Haulout Landscape, a Wilsonville landscaping company, has been fined over $14,000 by OSHA.

OSHA says it violated job safety standards to protect a worker from the potential hazards of tree removal.

“I can’t replace my grandfather, we can’t replace him –  nobody in the world can replace him,” said Sera Warner, the granddaughter of the victim killed in the accident.

She says her grandfather, Ronald Stout, was killed on April 1st when a tree fell on him during tree work in Klamath Falls.

OSHA says a supervisor hired two workers with the task of cutting down and removing a 60 ft tall oak tree. It says Stout was on the ground cutting branches, while the other worker was cutting a tree branch above him. When the branch fell, it struck stout in the head, killing him.

After an investigation, Haulout Landscape was cited for 3 serious job safety violations by OSHA.

OSHA spokesperson, Aaron Corvin, says the company did not properly train the 2 hired employees, including Stout, on equipment such as chainsaws.

The company was also cited for not ensuring its employees were tied in with a climbing rope or a safety saddle, as well as failure to ensure personal protective equipment was used.

“The investigation, particularly, fatality investigations, take longer to conduct,” Corvin tells NBC5 News.

Warner says she isn’t going to stop fighting for her grandfather. She tells us she is now working to file a lawsuit against Haulout Landscape by the end of this month.

Efforts to reach out to Haulout Landscape Inc. for comment were unsuccessful.

“The reason that we bring attention to something like this is in the hope that we can prevent a similar accident from happening again,” said Corvin.

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Jenna King is the 6pm anchor and our Feature Reporter at 10pm and 11pm for NBC5 News. Jenna is a Burbank, CA native. She graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Sports Business. During her time at Oregon she was part of the student-run television station, Duck TV. She also grew her passion for sports through her internship with the PAC 12 Network. When Jenna is not in the newsroom you can find her rooting for her hometown Dodgers, exploring the outdoors or binging on the latest Netflix release.
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