August 2, 2007
Contact: Rich Kulczewski
Phone: (303) 844-1302
DENVER -- The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited the Denver Zoological Foundation Inc. for alleged unsafe working conditions following a fatal accident where an employee was mauled by a jaguar at the Denver Zoo in February.
A citation issued to the organization by OSHA's Denver area office alleges one serious violation of the Occupational Safety and Health Act for failure to provide appropriate protocols to prevent inadvertent contact with dangerous animals. The citation carries a proposed penalty of $3,500.
"This was a tragic incident, and we hope to work cooperatively with the Denver Zoological Foundation staff to assist them in enhancing their safety and health program," said Herb Gibson, OSHA area director in Denver. "Safety and health programs are an important part of every organization, and they instill a safety culture that reduces the potential for accidents."
A serious citation is issued 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.
The employer has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to request an informal conference with the OSHA area director or to contest the citations and proposed penalties before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
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.
U.S. Labor Department releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format upon request (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office. Please specify which news release when placing your request. Call (202) 693-7765 or TTY (202) 693-7755. DOL is committed to providing America's employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit www.dol.gov/compliance.