DENVER (CBS4) – A video production company has been fined $91,000 by OSHA after a 6-month investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of a freelance videographer last summer.
“He had no way of knowing that this would be such a risky situation,” Barbie Keene Christopher said.
Christopher’s brother, Stuart Keene died from his injuries after falling with his camera more than 20 feet. He was 57 years old.
On June 25 Keene was hired as a freelancer by Lucas Oil Production Studios to help set up for the videotaping of the Thunder Valley Motocross event that weekend. Keene was standing on a mobile scissor lift when he fell with his camera. OSHA investigators determined the guardrail that should have protected him from falling had been removed.
The federal workplace safety agency calls it a “willful” violation and it’s the primary reason Lucas Oil Production Studios is facing such a large fine.
“All of this should have been prevented, could have been prevented,” said Christopher after meeting with OSHA and getting a copy of the investigation findings.
OSHA also found there was no training to operate the scissor lift.
Additionally, Lucas Oil failed to report the fatal accident in a timely manner, according to the agency.
Christopher said her brother Stuart was always safety-minded and had no clue he would not be returning home when he left for work June 25. She wants the circumstances of her brother’s tragic death to send a message.
“It’s our hope something like this would make an industry-wide change,” Christopher said. “You certainly don’t want it to be a member of your family who loses a life this way,”
CBS4 contacted Lucas Oil in California for a comment on Monday’s fines. The company did not return phone messages.
– By Paul Day, CBS4 Reporter