Cedar Fair cited for OSHA violations

Posted Friday, October 10, 2008 11:38 PM | Contributed by Jeff

OSHA charged Cedar Fair with failing to provide fall protection on two roller coasters at Cedar Point, not offering employees vaccinations for Hepatitis B and failing to conduct an adequate employee exposure determination for lifeguards as required by the bloodborne pathogen health standard.

Read more from WKYC/Cleveland.

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Saturday, October 11, 2008 2:40 AM

"Surprise, Surprise, Surprise"

(I remember insisting on fall protection and proper use of Aerial Work Platforms for employees in my department years ago, while the "safety department" looked on with confusion.)

Hopefully, they will get their fine knocked down for the safety record they have and instead be required to invest that money in new safety programs including those for BBP.

Last edited by CPJ, Saturday, October 11, 2008 2:42 AM
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Saturday, October 11, 2008 3:32 AM

At least this problem has been addressed and is on it's way to being fixed. It's a good thing, except for the expense of the fines and the remedy.

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Saturday, October 11, 2008 9:27 AM

If OSHA would only see half the stuff i've seen on job sites and in wearhouses...

They'd flip.

The good news: at least good stuff is happening. The only problem we might see a dollar hike in admission prices to cover costs.

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Saturday, October 11, 2008 10:12 AM

Hopman said:
If OSHA would only see half the stuff i've seen on job sites and in wearhouses...

They'd flip.

The good news: at least good stuff is happening. The only problem we might see a dollar hike in admission prices to cover costs.

Nah, they won't hike the admission. They'd just increase the cost of food.

They could post signs above all the food kiosks that read: Hepatitis Free, for You and Me!

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Saturday, October 11, 2008 11:33 AM

I wonder which coasters are being cited in the violation.


EDIT: Found this link on PointBuzz (thanks Walt!)

http://www.sanduskyregister.com/articles/2008/10/11/front/930854.txt

Last edited by ShiveringTim, Saturday, October 11, 2008 11:37 AM
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Saturday, October 11, 2008 12:07 PM

I am waiting for Parker17 to respond saying that this is impossible because Cedar Fair is perfect in all aspects.

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Saturday, October 11, 2008 4:34 PM

1) Dragster
I've seen them misusing the cable tray as described. The cable tray has labels on it that specifically state that it is not to be used as a catwalk. The problem is not that the cable tray cannot support the weight, the problem is that the cable tray is not equipped with a non-skid surface, a toe board, and a 42" railing. I'm not sure what OSHA expects them to do in this case, given that the ride does not have a catwalk, and while one could be installed, it would likely not be useful for inspection because it would have to be built over or outboard of the cable tray. I'm surprised there isn't also a citation there for "failure to provide continuous fall protection" as well, but I suppose they get away from that because there is no catwalk and therefore the workers should not be out there anyway. In fact, that's probably *why* they use the cable tray instead of a catwalk: because it isn't supposed to be used as a catwalk, it doesn't have to have railings, toe boards, and other industrial crap that would either detract from the ride or present a significant hazard to patrons.

2) Millennium Force
This one is *unbroadcastable*. The complaint says that employees are exposed to fall hazards of up to 300 feet, when in fact the only catwalks that exist on Millennium Force are between the boarding platform and the unloading platform, at the base of the lift, and along the final brake run and the storage track. All of those catwalks have railings except the one in the center of the track on the storage track and on the final brake run. There, it is impossible to install a railing, but the employees who perform "coaster button reset activities" do not use those catwalks. They only use the catwalks that have railings, along side the track.

3) Blue Streak
Where are they talking about? Railings extend all the way around that track, and it is possible to use personal fall protection equipment at any point around the course, although my guess is that someone was caught inspecting the ride without doing so.

This whole thing smells like an OSHA inspector spent a day at Cedar Point on vacation and saw a bunch of things he didn't like, so he went back to the office and started writing up fines...

I'm not saying that Cedar Point is blameless in all of this. I'm just saying that the allegations seem to have holes in them, and don't really seem to recognize (as is typical for OSHA) that the industrial situations on an amusement ride are unique and don't always work with the solutions that OSHA expects.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Saturday, October 11, 2008 7:35 PM

What I don't understand is the Hep-B issues. Are lifeguards any more at risk than anyone who gets in a pool? I suppose if someone is injured, sure, but if it's in water, I dunno.

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Saturday, October 11, 2008 8:23 PM

Jeff said:
What I don't understand is the Hep-B issues. Are lifeguards any more at risk than anyone who gets in a pool? I suppose if someone is injured, sure, but if it's in water, I dunno.

Lifeguards are basically working in the "medical field" where Hepatitis B vaccinations are generally required. Anyone that works with people in the masses SHOULD be vaccinated in my opinion. I know I am.

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Saturday, October 11, 2008 9:56 PM

I didn't read this thread until just now, but this morning I totally saw a maintenance worker walking Blue Streak before opening. He was definitely using fall protection equipment. Funny, I never would have thought about it twice until I read this thread.

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Saturday, October 11, 2008 10:09 PM

Dave, there is also the staircase at the top of Millennium Force's lift - where the maintenance person must exit the funicular, walk over the crown of the lift and press a button to say, "I inspected the cable" or something to that affect. I'm not sure what the standard procedure for doing this are and if they require fall protection or not. This area does have a railing though. That's the only spot I could think of that would involve a fall of 300 feet. With the railing there though, I don't really see how it's any different from us running up Magnum's lift all the time. You'd pretty much have to climb over the railing or jump clear across the entire track to fall.

Last edited by MDOmnis, Saturday, October 11, 2008 10:09 PM
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Sunday, October 12, 2008 12:12 AM

Chitown said:
I am waiting for Parker17 to respond saying that this is impossible because Cedar Fair is perfect in all aspects.

Don't you know this is all Six Flag's fault! ;)

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Sunday, October 12, 2008 2:41 AM

Jeff said:
What I don't understand is the Hep-B issues. Are lifeguards any more at risk than anyone who gets in a pool? I suppose if someone is injured, sure, but if it's in water, I dunno.


Jeff,

Anyone who is assigned as a Safety Aid or anyone who would tend to an injury in the workplace where blood can be exposed to the attending person, is required by OSHA to be given the option of the Heptatis-B vaccine.

That person CAN turn down the vaccine, but it MUST be offered nonetheless.

These have been OSHA requirements for some time.

I am the safety practioner at my workplace, and I just recieved my 2nd of 3 Hep-B vaccines.

Diluted blood mixed with chlorinate water is no guarantee that anyone could or could not be exposed to the risk of Hep-B infection.

They are just protecting their employees by administering this.

Last edited by MidwavePC, Sunday, October 12, 2008 2:45 AM
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Sunday, October 12, 2008 2:44 AM

Matt: Ah, yes, I had forgotten about the walkway up there.

My guess, then is that the real issue is that some inspector (i.e. ride mechanic) rode up in the basket, didn't bother to tie off, walked over the peak, and hit the switch. But "failure to provide" continuous fall protection is different from "failure to insure that a worker uses" continuous fall protection, is it not?

I also speculated in another forum that Dragster probably has a maintenance manual that nobody ever looks at which contains a clause that nobody ever reads where it says, "To inspect the launch track components, walk along the ground and use an extension ladder to access the track." Which would, of course, eliminate the need for a walkway, but in the end would actually be more dangerous than using the cable tray as a catwalk. So the employees use the cable tray as a walkway, and the park can claim that they were told not to do it that way, and were supplied with an alternate means of access.....

Fall protection fines seem to be OSHA's favorite way to raise money.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Sunday, October 12, 2008 3:19 AM

Rideman... 3) Blue Streak
Where are they talking about? Railings extend all the way around that track,

on One side... and its not like the other... sing along... a railing must be on BOTH sides, or, fall protection and/or fall arrest must be in place to prevent anyone from falling off the edge or reaching it..

Any employee working over 4 feet OR within 6 feet of an edge MUST have fall protection. Its the employer's choice, keep them more than 6 feet from the edge, or provide fall protection/prevention.

and... legally speaking... if an employer allows a climate of working illegally, whether they provide the right equipment or not, its the employers fault... not saying its right, but its the way things are these days.


Would you like to take a poll of employees at Cedar Point that are exposed to fall risk and/or AWP hazards and ask them if they have taken the appropriate fall protection legally required "regulatory" classes? I think Cedar Point may lose... sadly. Judging from my current employer.

I continue to believe their fines willl be knocked down with a plan to remove the risks.

Last edited by CPJ, Sunday, October 12, 2008 3:27 AM
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Sunday, October 12, 2008 11:29 AM

Which, on a roller coaster, it isn't possible to provide railings on both sides of the walking surface unless you want to make the walking surface such that you can't access the track from it. Something about ASTM F2291-06a:6.6-Clearance Envelope Analysis. But lest you think ASTM has something against providing worker safety, I refer you to F 2291-06a:14 which is all about fences and guardrails involving patrons, spectators, and employees.

In any case, Blue Streak has continuous railings, and there are lots of opportunities to tie off, so as a casual observer I still wonder what the charge is talking about.

It's not that I haven't seen lots of examples at CP (and in other places) of incidents where fall protection was not provided or used. It's just that the examples cited by OSHA don't make that much sense to me.

At least there is still some reason out there. Many coaster platforms have a significant fall hazard right in the middle of the track, and several rides have significant unprotected drops off the end of the station (Sky Ride, anyone?) and yet neither the park nor OSHA requires that the employees be tied off to do their work to keep them away from the unprotected edge...

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Sunday, October 12, 2008 12:05 PM

$185,000 psssh. That's pocket change. They probably make that on 1 day's worth of Cheese-on-a-Stick sales alone....;)

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Sunday, October 12, 2008 2:52 PM

Have to argue in favor of OSHA on this one. Those fines are levied because falling form heights is one of the leading causes of death in the workplace. OSHA, NIOSH, CDC - I'd claim that workplace safety is one of the biggest successes of the "big government" we've had since FDR. Does it go overboard sometimes? Of course, but then again, how much is someone's life worth? It's not a significant amount of money, but hopefully it gets CP to take the extra precautions. Which just might save someone from falling.

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Sunday, October 12, 2008 3:55 PM

By OSHA rules everytime a worker climbs a coasters lift hill they should have a harness on. Just the times I did it Six Flags would owe a ton of money. I was only given a safety harness one time while on a lift.

Last edited by TSC 2007, Sunday, October 12, 2008 3:56 PM
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