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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 201160017 - Employee Injured When Elephant Sits On Him

Accident: 201160017 -- Report ID: 0950641 -- Event Date: 10/19/1996
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
12609249310/24/19968422La City Los Angeles Zoo
At approximately 9:00 a.m. on October 16, 1996, Employee #1, a trainee at the Los Angeles Municipal Zoo, was helping a qualified animal handler with an elephant training demonstration. The animal handler, who also worked for the zoo, was directing and conducting the demonstration for visitors, using an elephant named Callie. He asked Employee #1 to remove a wheelbarrow full of waste from the elephant pen, and then to return with a set of keys, which were to be used during the finale of the demonstration. Employee #1 completed this task and was handing the keys to the animal trainer when the elephant suddenly moved and sat down, striking Employee #1. He sustained a broken right collar bone and was taken to Glendale Memorial Hospital and Health Center for treatment. Callie was described by zoo officials as the least tractable of the zoo's six female elephants. The causal factor in this accident was the employer's failure to follow its own protocol for handling elephants by allowing a trainee to help control an animal that was known to be difficult to handle.
Keywords: fracture, elephant, work rules, collarbone, animal handler, inexperience, struck by
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 126092493 Non Hospitalized injury Fracture Animal caretakers, except farm

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