Posted Friday, June 18, 2004 10:52 AM | Contributed by redman822
Jack E. Brouse, 52, was struck in the head by the Ragin' Cajun coaster at Six Flags Great America on May 29. He was doing routine maintenance on the ride at the time. He died Wednesday in the hospital.
Read more from The Chicago Tribune.
It is starting to sound like some parks need to give their staff remedial lock-out/tag-out training, and then to enforce said training.
It sounds so simple, so common sense. There must be something I am missing because if memory serves we are up to THREE park employees who have had unnecesary run ins with coaster trains this season, in three different parks.
My prayers also go out to the family and park for the tragic loss they suffered.
Let's just look at the Knott's incident mentioned by rapallegro that could have been fatal.
1) The mechanic shouldn't have been where he was without the ride locked out with locks applied by both the mechanic and by operations.
2) Alternately if access to the area by mechanics is required during operation, guards can be installed to prevent the mechanic from sticking his head up through the track.
3) If operations knew that the mechanic was there, they shouldn't have been operating the ride.
4) The mechanic sticking his head up through the track should be cause for an E-stop.
5) An incident report should be filed and an incident investigation conducted to determine why this near miss happened.
6) Appropriate follow up action should be taken. Reinforcement of procedures to all workers, possible revisions of procedures. Some sort of punishment may also be appropriate. The most effective form that I've seen is to make the people who didn't follow the procedure's attend safety meetings with every group on the site to explain just how stupid they were and what could of happened. The embarasement of this is far more effective on both the offenders and others than any time off etc. could be.
Seems like a lot of work. What it boils down to is that the mechanic was an idiot that should not be sticiking his head up (if this event actually happened)! Why should there be so much time, effort, and money spent on all of your solutions above to prevent an idiot from hurting or killing himself? I find it a sad state that we would go to such efforts to prevent accidents from happening to people who do nothing to protect themselves as this case illustrates. Seems like we are thwarting the evolutionary process when we protect guys that are this stupid. I have to assume that if this guy is a rollercoaster mechanic, he at least would have enough sense to know that a moving train and head through the tracks do not go together.
We do not need a procedural review, extra guards, E-stop, etc. What we need is responsible people. How freaking hard is it to understand that you do not stick your head anywhere near tracks of a running ride? Should we put fences/E-stops/and procedure manuals around EVERY road in the USA to prevent idiots from running in front of traffic? If people choose to not be responsible then accidents will happen. I see no reason to burden others with protecting guys like this.
Say, Person 1 locks the ride out and goes to check a bit of track. Then Person 2 wants to cut some shrubbery around another part of the ride - how would this person lock the ride out? It isn't as if he can/should think "Ah, the ride is already locked out" because as soon as Person 1 gets back, it will be unlocked.
Is it a case of there being tags that people take out, and the ride being locked? Ride only has locked once, but all tags have to be back?
For a few reasons. First of all, for the loss. No doubt about that.
Second of all, for the park, and its reputation. SFGAm staff are so well trained in this area. I remember going through training a few years ago, and so much emphasis was placed on this type of safety.
I wonder if the fact that this was a new, unfamiliar ride contributed any?
Can someone explain a typical lock out to me as I'm not quite sure how it would work if, say, there were more than two people out seperately on the track.
Simplified, lockout uses a scissors clip that goes through the power box's arm or the e-stop button when either is in the power-off position, locking out power to the ride. The clip has multiple holes in it that align when closed... each person working on the ride puts his own padlock through a hole. When done and clear of the area, he unlocks his padlock. Power cannot be restored until the last worker unlocks his padlock and unclips the device.
you cant prevent guests/employee's from doing things that will cause harm to themselves.
If you establish and enforce procedures using a lockout-tagout system, you can prevent most of the recent worker injuries. However, the system won't do any good without training and enforcement.
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