Walt Disney World Cited by U.S. in Monorail Crash

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Walt Disney Co.’s Walt Disney World was cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for safety violations involving the death of a monorail driver in a July collision at the Florida theme park.

The U.S. safety agency said in an e-mailed statement today that it proposed $44,000 in penalties against the company, including $7,000 for a serious violation related to the fatality, the maximum amount allowed for such a citation.

“Disney should have put procedures in place that would have prevented the fatal crash from occurring,” David Michaels, the head of OSHA, said in the statement. “Employers need to take effective and ongoing corrective action to protect the health and safety of their workers.”

A worker was killed in July when two of the monorail trains that travel through the park collided while switching tracks, OSHA said. The company was cited for serious violations for not providing a place of employment free from recognized dangers that could cause death or serious harm by exposing employees to collision hazards.

The trains had no passengers and were returning to their stations at 2 a.m., according to Michael Wald, an OSHA regional director.

Disney “has just received OSHA’s findings and is in the process of reviewing them,” Greg Hale, chief safety officer for Walt Disney World Parks and Resorts said in an e-mailed statement. “We will address any concerns and next steps directly with OSHA.”

The company has already made several “enhancements” to the monorail system, he said.

During an investigation into the incident, OSHA inspectors observed three violations unrelated to the fatality, according to the statement.

Disney has 15 business days to comply with the citations, ask for an informal meeting with OSHA officials, or indicate plans to contest it.

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