FOSTER CITY, California, Dec. 14, 2015 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — Cal/OSHA announced today that the owner/operator of California’s Great America theme park was at fault for a roller coaster accident that critically injured a ride mechanic on June 12. Robert Hooks, 66, suffered serious injuries when he was struck by the Flight Deck ride while retrieving a cell phone in a restricted area.
Cal/OSHA learned that Cedar Fair Southwest, the amusement park owner/operator, failed to have safety protocols in place to ensure that the roller coaster was shut down prior to retrieving lost articles near it, and also failed to effectively train workers to shut down the ride to retrieve lost articles.
“Employers are required to maintain a comprehensive injury and illness prevention program that addresses all safety hazards,” said Cal/OSHA Chief Juliann Sum. “Cedar Fair Southwest’s lack of safety protocols and training for employees contributed to this serious workplace accident.”
Cal/OSHA issued citations with penalties totaling $70,200 for eight workplace safety violations, including five serious in nature, two of them directly related the accident.
A serious violation is cited when there is a realistic possibility that death or serious harm could result from the actual hazardous condition. A willful violation is cited when the employer is aware of the law and violates it nevertheless, or when the employer is aware of the hazardous condition and takes no reasonable steps to address it.
Cal/OSHA helps protect workers from health and safety hazards on the job in almost every workplace in California. Cal/OSHA’s Consultation Services Branch provides free and voluntary assistance to employers and employee organizations to improve their health and safety programs. Employers should call +1 (800) 963-9424 for assistance from Cal/OSHA Consultation Services.
Employees with work-related questions or complaints may contact DIR’s Call Center in English or Spanish at 844-LABOR-DIR (+1 844-522-6734). The California Workers’ Information line at +1 866-924-9757 provides recorded information in English and Spanish on a variety of work-related topics. Complaints can also be filed confidentially with Cal/OSHA district offices.
Members of the press may contact Erika Monterroza or Peter Melton at +1 (510) 286-1161, and are encouraged to subscribe to get email alerts on DIR’s press releases or other departmental updates.
The California Department of Industrial Relations, established in 1927, protects and improves the health, safety, and economic well-being of over 18 million wage earners, and helps their employers comply with state labor laws. DIR is housed within the Labor & Workforce Development Agency. For general inquiries, contact DIR’s Communications Call Center at 844-LABOR-DIR (+1 844-522-6734) for help in locating the appropriate division or program in our department.