Disney Cited for Fatal Incident

April 2, 1999
It's little surprise that 18- to 34-year-olds are at the heart of a nationwide increase in illegal drug use, and the manufacturing industry traditionally draws heavily from this pool of job seekers.

Disneyland was hit with two serious citations by California's Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) for a Dec. 24, 1998 accident on a ride that killed a park guest and seriously injured two others.

"Through interviews and review of training records and procedures, our investigators determined that the employee had not received training on the specific procedures to follow in docking the (ride) Columbia," said John Howard, Cal/OSHA Chief. "The employee never performed a docking of the ship prior to the one that led to the bow cleat being ripped off the hull and propelled back toward the waiting passengers."

Disneyland received two serious citations carrying proposed penalties of $6,250 each. The first was for not adequately training the employee who was docking the Sailing Ship Columbia ride when the accident occurred. The second was for overloading the bow cleat. Cal/OSHA standards require that equipment used by employees not be operated or loaded beyond the intended working levels.

An investigation concluded that the accident occurred because the cleat on the ship was designed to hold the ship at the dock and was not strong enough to be used to brake the vessel's forward motion.

California law provides that the company may appeal Cal/OSHA citations and penalties within 15 working days to the Occupational Safety and Health Appeals Board.

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