Indiana State Fair tragedy results in citations to three employers
After a six month investigation, the Indiana Department of Labor announced it is citing three organizations involved in the Indiana State Fair accident on August 13, 2011 that resulted in fatal injuries two seven people, including two employees. The IOSHA investigation resulted in the following:
1. A Safety Order was issued to the Indiana State Fair Commission citing them for a “serious violation” for failure to conduct a life safety evaluation that included an assessment of all conditions and the related appropriate safety measures of the Indiana State Fairgrounds concert venues at the 2011 Indiana State Fair. A penalty of $6,300 was assessed.
2. A Safety Order was issued to Local 30 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees including Theatrical Payroll Services, Inc. for three (3) “serious violations” and one (1) “non-serious violation.” Citations included failure to consider soil conditions when placing cable anchor points for the grandstand stage; failure to provide fall protection for employees working 4 feet or more above ground level; and, failure to conduct a personal protective equipment hazard assessment of the worksite to determine the personal protective equipment required while erecting the load bearing roof and the grandstand. The non-serious violation involved failure to maintain proper OSHA records for four years.
Penalties of $3,500 were assessed for each serious violation, and a penalty of $1,000 was assessed for the non-serious violation. Total penalties assessed were $11,500.
3. A Safety Order was issued to Mid-America Sound Corporation for three (3) “knowing violations.” These violations included failure to develop and implement an Operations Management Plan, the failure to develop a risk assessment plan, failure to maintain and use current engineering calculations and documentation, and failure to provide appropriate, qualified supervision. Each knowing violation was assessed a penalty of $21,000. Total penalty assessed was $63,000.
Commissioner Lori A. Torres was said evidence demonstrated that the Mid-America Sound Corporation was aware of the appropriate requirements and "demonstrated a plain indifference to complying with those requirements.”
She also criticized the State Fair Commission for failing to have conducted an adequate life safety evaluation and plan prior to the event. In addition, she noted that IATSE Local 30 clearly acted as an employer and failed to take proper safety precautions for employees and failed to take appropriate steps to ensure the load bearing roof was properly secured.
Maximum penalties that may be assessed under Indiana law are: Non-Serious Violation: $7,000 Serious Violation: $7,000 Knowing Violation: $70,000