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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 201129830 - Music Teacher Injured In Fall Into Orchestra Pit

Accident: 201129830 -- Report ID: 0950613 -- Event Date: 05/02/2013
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
31577576705/15/20139411San Mateo Foster City School District
From April 19 to May 4, 2013, an independent performing arts production company The Pied Piper rented the theater stage from San Mateo Foster City School District for the production performance of The Wizard of Oz. Most of the actors are in their grade school and they performed every Friday and Saturday at 5:00 p.m. The janitors cleaned the theater every Monday. The theater manager who was working for the school district at the time would open up the theater at 4:00 p.m. to let the Pied Piper rehearse and set up the stage and the theater technician who works part time would close up the stage at 11:00 p.m. every night. The theater manager worked until 4:00 p.m. every day. On May 1, 2013, at approximately 10: 30 p.m., the theater technician saw the orchestra pit opened and in it were eight musicians playing their instruments. At approximately 11:00 p.m. when the theater technician was closing the theater, he saw the orchestra pit open with musical instruments in it. A cello stuck up above the orchestra pit to the stage floor and he stated that he was not able to close the orchestra pit because of that. He stated that he did not have the right to touch musical instruments that did not belong to the school. On Thursday, May 2, 2013, Employee #1, a 64-year-old male, music teacher who works for San Mateo Foster City School District asked a janitor to open the theater so that he can give his students a tour of the stage. The theater was opened and the ghost light on the stage was always turned on. Employee #1 turned on the other lights around the stage. While walking on the stage showing his students where they will be located at the time of the performance, Employee #1 stepped into the orchestra pit opening and fell approximately 71 in. to the concrete floor below. The opening to this pit at the time was approximately 9 ft. by 7 ft. and 9 in. The elementary students who witnessed the fall stated that Employee #1 was not looking where he was stepping. These elementary students notified the school Principal who took control of the situation. Employee #1 stated that he did not see that there was an opening at that orchestra pit when he was walking back; he sustained a fractured pelvis (sacrum & rami) and ribs (L-10) and was hospitalized over 24 hours at Peninsula Hospital, Milbrae, CA. This incident occurred at 9:55 a.m. and the employer notified the division at approximately 3:30 p.m. that same day. Cal-OSHA opened an investigation of this accident on May 15, 2013. The theater technician stated that the music teacher that got injured did not go inside the theater regularly. Employee #1's concert was not until May 30th and he was not scheduled to go inside the theater until rehearsal on May 27th. The school district had a written procedure but was not followed by the employees. Employees are able to access the stage by having custodial staff open the theater for them, whether they are scheduled to be in the theater or not.
Keywords: fracture, spine, pelvis, pit, rib, fall, concrete
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 315775767 Hospitalized injury Fracture Art, drama and music teachers

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