Countryside Tree Service will pay more than $140,000 in fines after the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) decided they failed to provide safety training and ensure safe operating procedures to Justus Booze.

Booze, 23, died when the wood chipper he was working with pulled him into the machine in Guilderland in May on his very first day on the job.

OSHA found that Booze and other employees of the service weren't trained properly.

OSHA says his employer, Tony Watson, exposed Booze and other coworkers to the dangers of being caught in the machine’s rotating parts and failed to train them in the safe operation of wood chippers.

According to the story on News10 ABC, Countryside Tree Service is also cited with the following:

  • Exposing employees to laceration and amputation hazards while operating chain saws during tree removal at three separate locations. Employees did not wear leg protection while trimming branches.
  • Failing to train each employee to use personal protective equipment.
  • Exposing employees to eye hazards during tree removal including wood dust, flying wood pieces, and being struck by branches during tree trimming and feeding wood into a chipper.
  • Failing to ensure employees wear a protective helmet when working in areas where the potential exists for head injuries from falling objects.

You can call OSHA’s toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency’s Albany office at 518-464-4338 to ask questions or make your own inquiry.