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Disney World reports on Monorail Safety Enhancements

Today Walt Disney World received the OSHA report listing its findings following its investigation of the Monorail accident last summer that resulted in the death of a cast member. The Resort was also fined $44,000 and provided a list of changes it needs to implement. An appeal may be filed however.

“At Walt Disney World Resort, safety is core to our culture and is central to everything we do. We have a comprehensive safety program that focuses on continuous improvement every day. This is a cornerstone of our company.” Said Greg Hale, Chief Safety Officer and Vice President of Worldwide Safety and Accessibility, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “Since this summer, we closely reviewed our monorail system and identified opportunities to enhance our safety processes and procedures. The resulting enhancements fit into two key categories: enhancements to general processes and procedures and enhancements to the train switching process.”

“Day-in and day-out, we review safety procedures throughout our resort and continuously look for ways to improve our operations.” continued Hale. “We have just received OSHA’s findings and are in the process of reviewing them. We will address any concerns and next steps directly with OSHA. We have already made several enhancements to the operation of the monorail and will review these findings to determine whether any additional steps are necessary.”

According to Walt Disney World the safety enhancements to the Monorail System general processes and procedures include:

  • Requiring that a coordinator be located in the Tower at the Ticket and Transportation Center at all times during monorail operations to coordinate train movement.
  • Additional training to Cast Members on the platform to use a handpack to stop monorail trains from the platform in emergency situations.
  • Supplementing our procedures to include a dedicated observer when a monorail train moves in reverse.
  • Providing additional written training material for Monorail Shop Panel Operators.

Enhancements to the train switching process that include additional verifications and further clarification of key responsibilities:

  • Requiring the coordinator in the Tower at the Ticket and Transportation Center to visually verify via an electronic display that the beams are in the proper switching position and that power has been applied appropriately.
  • Requiring the monorail driver to: be in the forward facing cab when switching from one beam to another; verify that the switch beam is in the proper position before proceeding; stop at the next station after a switch and wait for clearance to proceed.
  • Providing additional written training material for Monorail Shop Panel Operators concerning procedures for moving switch beams.

I have noticed other subtle changes. Such as a new reflective coat of paint on the switching beams. Oddly nothing in there about not allowing guests to ride in the nose cone.