Theme parks can invoke many images and feelings-from carefree fun and excitement, to the monotony of waiting in long lines. Safety, or lack thereof, is not one the first things that comes to mind. However, all of the rides that bring joy to many visitors require maintenance, and accidents such as scaffolding and ladder falls can happen.
Recently, a park worker fell while cleaning the exterior of a popular roller coaster ride, Space Mountain, at Disneyland. The worker endured broken bones, and was in critical condition after the accident. The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health conducted an investigation, and recently proposed a fine of $235,000 against the theme park in connection with the accident, and fined the contractor, who employed the worker $60,995. It was determined that the contractor failed to follow safety regulations by not ensuring that the worker had the proper anchors or tie-backs for performing maintenance on the exterior of the building.
In addition to the possibility of fines by regulatory authorities, the employer of a worker who has been injured on the job may be required to provide workers' compensation insurance to the worker. This insurance provides compensation to injured workers, regardless of who was at fault for the injury. These benefits often include medical care, vocational rehabilitation and replacement income. Workers' compensation is intended to be a substitute for a lawsuit against the employer.
Following the investigation of the incident, the Disneyland voluntarily closed down the Space Mountain ride, as well as the Soarin' Over California roller coaster ride, while the theme park is reviewing its safety protocols for employees.
Source: MercuryNews.com, "CA regulators seek fine after Disneyland accident," April 16, 2013
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