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Robert Niles

Disney violated manufacturer's SOP on monorails

Published: December 22, 2009 at 10:31 AM

Jason Garcia at the Orlando Sentinel got his hands on the SOP [standard operating procedures] manual that Bombardier Inc. wrote for Disney's monorail system and found that Disney violated those procedures during the incident last July that led to a crash which cost the life of monorail driver Austin Wuennenberg.

According to the SOP, Disney is supposed to have a spotter watching any monorail train when it is operating in reverse. Disney's didn't have a spotter on the platform in July, one who could have seen that a track switch wasn't in the position that the drivers thought it was in.

Disney is enforcing that policy strictly now, demanding under threat of disciplinary action that a spotter watch any monorail in reverse, no matter how short the distance.

I believe that we are still awaiting the NTSB report on the incident. Someone please correct me if I am wrong about that.

Update (2009/12/23): OSHA hits Disney with $44,000 in fines over the monorail crash, and other incidents. Compared with other OSHA actions, the fine seems light, given that an employee death was involved.

Replies (3)

Anthony Murphy

Published: December 22, 2009 at 10:54 AM

That really doesn't suprise me that the SOP was not followed since you would assume there was some breakdown in communication.
Joshua Counsil

Published: December 22, 2009 at 10:56 AM

Very odd. They are absolute Nazis at enforcing the "no-leaning/sitting-on-the-queue-rails" policy, which presents very little actual chance of injury. Something seemingly important like this, however, seems to be abated.

Seems they care more for the safety of their guests than their employees.

Published: December 22, 2009 at 7:04 PM

No fooling That is the most common sense report I have read in a long time. THis is like putting a car in reverse and looking out the front instead of back windows

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