No fun for heat-exposed amusement park workers
A teenaged worker at an outdoor amusement park was burned after collapsing near a food stand fryer from excessive heat on June 9, 2014.
An OSHA investigation into the incident found that seasonally-employed workers, mostly teen employees, hired as outdoor and food stand staff at Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom in Allentown, Pa. were exposed to heat hazards during their summer employment.
"In summer temperatures, amusement park workers face an increased risk of heat-related illness and death," said Jean Kulp, director of OSHA's Allentown Area Office. "The threat of heat stress can be reduced significantly by establishing a heat illness prevention program for indoor and outdoor workers. The program should include effective training; consistently available water and shaded breaks; a thorough review of heat illness incidents; and acclimatization."
OSHA cited one serious violation of the agency's general duty clause for Cedar Fair's failure to develop and implement procedures for protecting employees while they worked outdoors in direct sunlight and in small food stands where heat sources exist. The company faces a proposed fine of $7,000, the maximum penalty permitted for a serious violation.
An additional record-keeping violation was cited, with a $2,000 penalty.
OSHA has developed heat illness educational materials in English and Spanish. Additionally, a Web page provides information and resources on heat illness — including how to prevent it and what to do in an emergency — for workers and employers. The page is available at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/heatillness/index.html.