The Hawaii County Council has agreed to a settlement involving the death of a zipline worker who was testing a new facility in Hilo when the line came loose and he fell to his death in 2011.
Ted Callaway, 36, was test-riding the zipline when it slackened, plunging him 200 feet into a stream below. Another worker, Curtis Wright, 43, fell 30 feet from the tower, suffering critical injuries.
The Hawaii Tribune Herald today said Big Island County Council on Tuesday voted 8-1 to settle for $26,400 without admitting liability. The county was sued on the basis of permits it issued for the wooden towers that served as staging areas for the ziplines. A county attorney said the permit application characterized the towers as “observation towers,” rather than having anything to do with the zipline itself.
The family of Callaway, who’s from Maui, sued the county as well as a long list of zipline contractors and employment companies involved in the Paukaa construction site on behalf of six minor children.
The Hawaii Occupational Safety and Health Division issued three citations totaling $13,500 in penalties against GoZip LLC of Maui.
A platform tower’s anchors were pulled out of the ground while Callaway was test-riding the zipline.
HIOSH cited GoZip for failing to use objective methods to verify that the anchors could support the loads of the towers, cables and riders or that the guy system could meet the requirements of the Association for Challenge Course Technology, of which GoZip is a member.
The agency also cited the company for failing to ensure that side rails of an extension ladder used to provide access to the landing tower extended at least three feet above the edge of the landing surface, and for failing to ensure that employees wore helmets