Quebec finds La Ronde partially responsible for death of worker in low zone

Posted Wednesday, February 13, 2013 10:04 AM | Contributed by VitaminsAndGravy

Quebec's workplace health and safety board has pointed a finger at Montreal's La Ronde amusement park for failing to restrict access to dangerous areas after an investigation into a worker's death last summer. The CSST found fault with the park's management for failing to fully explain the job to the plumber, who was tasked with making repairs when he was struck, and in how the park manages who has access to high risk areas while the rides are running.

Read more from The CBC.

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013 11:18 AM

It sounds like there could have been better communication but it still baffles me that someone who has worked at the park for 4 years could make this mistake.

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013 4:28 PM

I don't get it either. I mean, you don't need to be an expert to understand that stepping onto a freeway is a bad idea, so how does this happen?

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Thursday, February 14, 2013 3:09 AM

Why they don't have low zone locks where the only key resides with the ride's operator console is beyond me. Still, Jeff's walking onto the freeway comparison is valid and makes these cases that much more puzzling.

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Thursday, February 14, 2013 10:58 AM

Lockout procedures have been in use in the industry for decades, so you would definitely wonder why they weren't implemented there. It is, however Quebec and they tend to do things the way they want to, or more precisely "we've never had a problem with this before, why change things now?"

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Sunday, February 17, 2013 4:49 PM

Yes, the freeway example makes a lot of sense, and also: even if you DO decide to cross the freeway, don't you look both ways to make sure no cars are coming? I know for sure that if I was walking around in a roller coaster structure, especially one that hangs below the track, I would be absolutely certain I knew where the trains were. It baffles me. I saw people at Cedar Point with a beach ball while waiting in line for Raptor, and one of the people tried to hop the fence and get the beach ball. I damn near had a heart attack.

I have always been kind of a coward, and I follow rules usually to a fault, but I still don't get why people don't think the rules aren't there for a reason. I mean, some things are stupid and I myself think, "Why is this rule in place?", but when it comes to safety at a park, why risk anything just to get a job done quicker or to pretend you're a bada**?

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Sunday, February 17, 2013 11:10 PM

In 1989 ACE has their Summer Conference at Valleyfair! and Arnold's Park. During the Morning at Arnold's park several members were jumping fences in the area of their Giant Coaster (now called Legend) to take pictures of the Coaster. When lunch was served the Manager of the park, along with the ACE's Leader put us on notice that what we were doing was against rules, and warned us that anyone caught in an area "out of Bounds" would be immediately "shown the way out" of the park. We meant no harm, but being put on notice I stayed on 'The Straight and Narrow" for the remainder of my day there. This year we will soon come on the tenth anniversary of that day in history that changed ACE forever, the "Night of Silence" at Holiday World.

Last edited by Regulus, Sunday, February 17, 2013 11:12 PM
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Monday, February 18, 2013 11:03 AM

You really think it's about ACE? That's not something I would want associated with my organization.

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Monday, February 18, 2013 11:12 AM

Jeff said:

You really think it's about ACE? That's not something I would want associated with my organization.

ACE is no one person's organization. It's impossible to stop a few bad apples from doing stupid stuff.

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Monday, February 18, 2013 11:29 AM

CP Chris said:

Why they don't have low zone locks where the only key resides with the ride's operator console is beyond me.

I love that idea - rather than have a lock-out/tag-out POLICY, go with a mechanism of physical security that doesn't allow for an override of safety precautions. We've been discussing this situation too many times over the years....at too great a cost.

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Monday, February 18, 2013 11:47 AM

I'm pretty sure a lot of the newer coasters have mag locks and interlocks that won't allow dispatch if a gate is open.

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Monday, February 18, 2013 11:28 PM

The most basic protection, though, is for someone working in a kill zone to put *his own* lockout padlock on the operating controls. Putting an interlock on a gate seems like a great idea until you realize that you've just made it possible for someone to get himself locked into a kill zone. Making sure that the gate is closed does not insure that the zone is clear.

It *has* to be procedural. There really is no reasonable technological solution to what is fundamentally a communications process problem.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2013 2:30 AM

But you have to make sure that those maintenance guys are following procedure in order to make it work.

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