Dec. 29, 2014
Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom fail to protect young workers from heat
hazards and illness, OSHA finds
ALLENTOWN, Pa. – Seasonally-employed workers, mostly teen employees, hired as outdoor and food stand staff at Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom, were exposed to heat hazards during their summer employment, according to the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration. OSHA cited Cedar Fair LP, operators of the Allentown amusement park, following a June 9, 2014, investigation initiated in response to a complaint alleging that a teen worker sustained burns upon collapsing near a fryer in a food stand.
"In summer temperatures, amusement park workers face an increased risk of heat-related illness and death," said Jean Kulp, director of OSHA's Allentown Area Office. "The threat of heat stress can be reduced significantly by establishing a heat illness prevention program for indoor and outdoor workers. The program should include effective training; consistently available water and shaded breaks; a thorough review of heat illness incidents; and acclimatization."
OSHA cited one serious violation of the agency's general duty clause for Cedar Fair's failure to develop and implement procedures for protecting employees while they worked outdoors in direct sunlight and in small food stands where heat sources exist. The company faces a proposed fine of $7,000, the maximum penalty permitted for a serious violation. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
An additional record-keeping violation was cited, with a $2,000 penalty.
OSHA has developed heat illness educational materials in English and Spanish. Additionally, a Web page provides information and resources on heat illness-including how to prevent it and what to do in an emergency-for workers and employers. The page is available at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/heatillness/index.html.
Cedar Fair has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Allentown Area Office at 267-429-7542.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.
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Release Number: 14-2271-PHI (osha 14-105)
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