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NEWS: Six Flags Great America Cited by OSHA


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Link: http://www.dailyherald.com/story/?id=35203

 

Great America cited by OSHA

Gurnee amusement park faces fines for 38 safety violations

 

 

By Michael Sean Comerford | Daily Herald Staff

 

 

Published: 9/11/2007 1:16 AM

 

Already on a watch list for companies with high rates of injuries and illnesses, Six Flags Great America in Gurnee on Monday garnered 38 safety violation citations and $117,700 in proposed fines.

 

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration alleged multiple serious and repeat violations at the amusement park, ranging from defective emergency brakes on an industrial truck to a lack of labeling procedures for preventing inadvertent machine start-ups.

 

"This is a significant fine for serious violations," said Scott Allen, spokesman for OSHA.

 

OSHA said it inspected Six Flags theme parks five times since a 2004 fatality at Great America, in which Great America was cited for failure to provide proper machine guarding. Previous to Monday's announcement, the chain of 16 theme parks had been cited four times for safety violations.

 

In May 2004, a Zion resident at the Gurnee park was hit by a roller coaster and died of his injuries. The employee, Jack E. Brouse, 52, had been working on the Ragin' Cajun roller coaster at Great America and was next to the track when he was hit by a passing car full of riders, authorities said at the time.

 

After that inspection, OSHA fined Great America $8,867, according to Allen.

 

Last month, a 52-year-old man was performing routine maintenance on a locomotive when he fell from the top of the train about 20 feet to tracks below. The man was flown via helicopter to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge due to the possibility of spinal injuries.

 

A Great America spokeswoman did not immediately comment on the OSHA fines Monday.

 

Great America can appeal the recommended citations and fines.

 

OSHA's most recent inspection was prompted by its Site Specific Targeting program, which identifies companies with a track record of injuries and illnesses. To be on the list, a company's injury rate must be above the national average.

 

The violations include failure to use approved pumps to dispense flammable liquids and improper storage; sprinkler heads in a spray booth covered with unapproved polyethylene bags; exits not properly marked; damaged ladders; inoperable eyewash station; improper machine guarding for wood and metal cutting equipment; circuit breaker boxes used to disconnect machines not properly marked for lockout/tagout procedures "which are intended to prevent inadvertent machine start-ups," OSHA said in its press release.

 

Penalties also were recommended for repeat offenses, including the absence of powered industrial nameplates, obstructed exit routes and inadequate housekeeping.

 

OSHA inspections search for safety violations affecting workers, not the public. So what effect the violations could have had on the public was not addressed.

 

The Gurnee park's parent company, New York-based Six Flags Theme Parks, employs 35,800 employees nationwide and about 2,500 workers in Gurnee, OSHA said.

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Now I suppose they wont be getting the rumored drop coaster. They'll have to spend all that money fixing everything that OSHA found wrong.

 

As far as it being one of the better run SF parks, most of these violations were backstage where the public was not in any danger.

 

Ron "Tear down Deja Vu and build an OSHA office right in the middle of the park" Patton

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Not surprised.

 

Work at a theme park and you'll see some things you'd never even think you'd see when it comes to safety and sanitation. Its honestly always been a miracle in my eyes that people don't die at theme parks on a daily basis, all the stupid crap that goes on, and all the numb nuts in charge of peoples lives not caring about doing their jobs.

 

Glad OSHA caught this, wish they would have fined them more. Doubt this will do anything to change other SF parks, they'll cut corners till they're caught as well.

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OSHA itself is a giant waste of space. I've seen more problems caused by OSHA's regulations that if we would do things the way we actually wanted. OSHA's recommendations are to protect everyone, but in reality it just makes Darwinism work harder. "Durrrrr, I didn't know that fence meant I was supposed to keep out!" and thus the place was fined $134,500 and a "Danger: Keep Out" sign was recommended

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OSHA are the biggest industrial safety idiots out there, I have to learn about these assholes in school in certain classes.

 

They can be horrible at times, I do know that for sure! OSHA will never be friends with anyone, safety or not.

 

But on topic, this is a bit....ummm....strange since I though SFGAM was one the more better parks.

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The story that CBS2 is running says the fines are more like $200,000.

 

Theme parks are really like any other type of work site including things like restaurants. The public rarely sees the "back-end" of many businesses and would be surprised at what they see.

 

I'm wouldn't be surprised if someone (disgruntled ex-employee, SFGAm hating citizen, etc) is feeding OSHA complaints and because of the that the inspector is looking for anything to get them on.

 

OSHA could walk in any business, factory, office and find violations any day of the week.

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This is blown way out of proportion. You could walk backstage at SFGAm all day and not notice anything unsafe, OSHA likes to cite and fine for no/completely retarded reasons. I dont want to think what SFMM's OSHA track record is.

 

If you want to see an unsafe park, go a few hours north and visit Mt Olympus (Wisconsin, OSHA pretty much is non existant).

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I really do not understand all the OSHA hate around here. Yes someeof their regulations can be a P.I.T.A. but they are there for a reason, to keep employees safe. Their regulations are the law, and if they were broken, SF, or anyone else, deserves the fines. I myself have had to go through OSHA training regarding construction sites. While it was boring and some of the stuff is a pain to deal with, the fact remains construction sites are much safer now than they were before OSHA. Same goes for other job environments.

 

All of the infractions listed seem to be in a machine shop. These regulations would apply to all machine shops and it is not a case of OSHA coming down hard on SF.

 

If you read the article you would see that this "raid" was because they were investigating places that had problems in the past and had absolutely nothing to do with a disgruntled former employee. If

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^ I agree!

 

I dont want to think what SFMM's OSHA track record is.

 

California has some of the most (if not the most) strict regulations regarding theme parks. We have our own equivalent to OSHA that definitely exeeds OSHA in persistence.

 

Meaning yes, SFMM most likely has a nasty track record. But for much more minute infractions, I'm sure.

 

-Jahan

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