Sept. 10, 2007
Contact: Scott Allen
Phone: (312) 353-6976
Federal agency proposes $117,700 in penalties
GURNEE, Ill. -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed $117,700 in fines against Six Flags Theme Parks Inc. in Gurnee, Ill., for alleged multiple serious and repeat violations of federal workplace safety standards.
Following a recent safety inspection, OSHA issued citations for 34 serious violations with proposed penalties totaling $90,000. Alleged violations include the company's failure to properly store flammable liquids or use approved pumps to dispense flammable liquids; sprinkler heads in a spray booth covered with unapproved polyethylene bags; exits not properly marked; ladders damaged and not suitable for use; an inoperable eyewash station; improper machine guarding for wood and metal cutting equipment; and circuit breaker boxes used to disconnect machines not properly marked for lockout/tagout procedures, which are intended to prevent inadvertent machine start-ups.
OSHA also issued four citations for repeat serious violations with proposed penalties of $27,700 for defective emergency brakes on a powered industrial truck, absence of powered industrial nameplates, obstructed exit routes and inadequate housekeeping.
Diane Turek, OSHA's area director in Des Plaines, Ill., said, 'Employers must remain dedicated to keeping the workplace safe and healthful or face close scrutiny by this agency.'
New York-headquartered Six Flags Theme Parks Inc. employs about 35,800 employees company-wide and nearly 2,500 employees at its Gurnee location, which has been inspected by OSHA five times since 2004. A fatality inspection conducted in 2004 resulted in one violation for failure to provide proper machine guarding. OSHA opened the recent inspection at the theme park as part of its Site-Specific Targeting program, which identifies companies with histories of high injury and illness rates.
OSHA operates a vigorous enforcement program, conducting more than 38,000 inspections last year and exceeding its inspection goals in each of the last seven years. In fiscal year 2006, OSHA found nearly 84,000 violations of its standards and regulations.
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 assure the safety and health of America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual process improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
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