Recently, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Disney for various safety violations following the July 5, 2009 monorail accident. I have previously blogged about this tragic accident that killed 21-year-old Austin Wuennenberg of Kissimmee, one of the monorail operators. The OSHA fine totals $44,000, and the accident is attributed to Disney failing to recognize the danger of operating the monorails in reverse. Disney has now changed their policy, and has spotters watching when monorails are reversing.
Disney was also cited for three separate safety violations relating to the monorails, but not related to the accident: exposing employees in the monorail’s repair shop to a fall greater than eight feet without adequate protection, not training monorail employees in the use of fire extinguishers (both repeat violations for Disney), and having a drill press in the maintenance shop without a safety guard in place.
Of the $44,000 fine amount, Disney was fined $17,500 for each repeat safety violation, and only $7,000 was for the violation that caused the fatal accident. Such a low fine for Disney hardly gives solace to the family of the deceased employee. What’s troubling is that Disney continues to be fined for repeat safety violations, and continues to ignore federal regulations regarding workplace safety.