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OSHA issues 6 citations in performer's fatal workplace accident

Most California readers know of the world famous Cirque du Soleil and some may have attended a performance in late June during which a performer died. OSHA says it discovered six violations during the subsequent investigation into this workplace accident. A spokesperson for Cirque du Soleil has indicated that it will appeal the violations.

OSHA found that the accident occurred due to a lack of adequate training of the woman that died. Investigators also believe that the assessment of the potential hazards by the company before the performance was inadequate. The venue where the accident took place is expected to receive three citations from OSHA in connection with this accident. It is said those violations will be appealed as well.

The 31-year-old performer was quickly descending a wire when it snapped. She fell nearly 94 feet to her death. According to a Cirque du Soleil spokesperson, this was the first time a performer was killed during a performance in the nearly 29 years that the company has been putting on shows. The only other fatality reported was during training in 2009. However, numerous performers have been injured over the years.

OSHA usually investigates when a fatality results from a workplace accident. It is the responsibility of every employer to ensure a safe work environment for its employees, including performers. The more dangerous the job, the more safety precautions, equipment and training may be required. If someone is injured in an on-the-job accident in California, our state regulated workers' compensation system provides insurance benefits for covered workers -- and to their families in the event of a fatal accident.

Source: Los Angeles Times, Cirque du Soleil says it will appeal OSHA citations in 'Ka' death, David Ng, Oct. 30, 2013

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