It was a tragic death that should never have happened. Petty Holdings employee Gary Terry was a passenger in an Italian sports car on the exotic driving course at the Walt Disney World Speedway, traveling at high speed in the opposite direction the track’s safety… Read More »Death at Walt Disney World Speedway results in small fine from OSHA
Update: Official word from Drive Petty representative is that the Exotic Driving Experience plans to reopen on May 1. They gave us this statement: “As of today, the plan is to resume EDE operations in Orlando. However, we are evaluating the situation during the ongoing… Read More »Exotic Driving Experience at Walt Disney Speedway could close permanently
I’m a bit surprised, but not totally shocked, by SeaWorld’s decision not to appeal the court ruling enforcing OSHA’s finding that it was unsafe to have employees (aka trainers) in the water with Killer Whales (aka big animals with a remote risk of danger). I… Read More »SeaWorld won’t appeal OSHA ruling keeping trainers out of water
Update: Sunday 4/14/13 12pm PT – Just spoke with our contact at Disneyland and have a new story with important updates to the below post:
Update: Sunday 4/14/13 9am PT– Disneyland opened today with the Matterhorn Bobsleds running. Space Mountain and Soarin’ over California remain closed, according to Disney PR. Yesterday’s Matterhorn closure may have been unrelated to CAL/OSHA inspection. I’m hearing more inspections could happen over the next few days. Still awaiting official statement from Disneyland PR.
The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (CAL/OSHA) delivered seven safety violation citations to the Disneyland resort yesterday for Space Mountain. For some reason (update: the closures were made voluntarily by Disneyland after an internal safety review), this has resulted in three major attractions to be closed at the Disneyland Resort today. Those attractions are Space Mountain, The Matterhorn Bobsleds, and Soarin’ Over California. It’s not yet clear if the Matterhorn and Soarin’ are related to the same CAL/OSHA filing. I’ve asked Disneyland for clarification.
The citations were related a 2006 agreement to make improvements and to inspections following recent accidents such as the man who was seriously injured while cleaning the outside of Space Mountain in November 2012. The findings include simple failures like not having a charged fire extinguisher and more serious ones like failure to protect employees from unsafe ladders or lack of railings preventing a fall hazard. Serious fines of up to $70,000 for each infraction could be levied if Disneyland does not comply immediately with the requests (although appeal is also an option). Total penalties for just the Space Mountain citations could reach over $230,000.
These are the same sort of hazards that forced Disneyland to close Alice in Wonderland until temporary scaffolding could be erected with guardrails. The park still hasn’t made permanent fixes there.
Where we last left the SeaWorld Killer Whale OSHA case was that a judge had declined to hear SeaWorld’s appeal and that trainers would not be allowed to be in the water with the animals without a barrier. SeaWorld pointed out in their appeal that… Read More »SeaWorld Takes First Steps Toward Returning Trainers Into Water With Killer Whales
SeaWorld is appealing an administrative judge’s opinion on whether the company is violating workplace safety rules when allowing trainers to swim with killer whales at its theme parks. The conservation minded theme park ran into a roadblock when the first stop on the appeals course,… Read More »SeaWorld Faces Setback in Quest to Return Trainers to Water with Shamu
The death of trainer Dawn Brancheau in an encounter with a killer whale was a tragedy, but SeaWorld believes a Federal Judge has gone too far restraining trainers interaction with the whales. Not just too far, but made the decision based on faulty assumptions. Yesterday… Read More »SeaWorld Appeals Decision to keep Killer Whale Trainers out of Water
The OSHA case against SeaWorld Orlando in the death of killer whale trainer Dawn Brancheau reached a mixed verdict today. On the one hand the judge ruled SeaWorld’s violation was not willful, merely serious, and reduced the fine from $75,000 to $12,000. But the judge… Read More »Mixed Results in SeaWorld Orlando Killer Whale Trainer Death OSHA Case