Disneyland's Space Mountain closes after State of California alleges unsafe working conditions for maintenance crews
Written by Robert Niles
The State of California's Division of Occupational Safety and Health has proposed nearly a quarter million dollars in penalties for the Disneyland Resort for alleged safety violations on Disneyland's Space Mountain ride. The allegations involve reported failures to provide safe working conditions for maintenance personnel on the ride and its show building, and do not involve Disneyland guests.
Space Mountain was closed at Disneyland yesterday and remains closed today. In addition, Soarin' Over California was closed yesterday and today and the Matterhorn and Splash Mountain were closed yesterday, which promoted speculation by Disney fans on Twitter that those rides were also affected by the DOSH action. However, I've found only a state report regarding Space Mountain.
The state is proposing $234,850 in penalties for six violations, ranging from improper recording-keeping and a lack of fire extinguishers to the failure to provide guard rails and gates on maintenance platforms inside and outside the ride's building. Disneyland may appeal, if it chooses.
The three most serious allegations: (called "willful" in the report):
"Disneyland Resort failed to correct the unsafe work practice of employees of both Disneyland Resort and HSG, Inc. accessing the upper and lower exterior platforms of a building (Space Mountain) by means of unsafe ladderways."
The state has posted a copy of its report on the Cal/OSHA website. The report covers inspections of the ride between November 11, 2012 and April 10 of this year.
I've emailed Disneyland media relations representatives for a response.
Update: And here it is: "We constantly strive to maintain a safe work environment for our cast members and contractors and we are reviewing certain protocols," Disneyland said in a statement. "We have received notification of the citations and are working with OSHA to fully review them."
A Disneyland spokesperson emphasized that Disney closed Space Mountain and Soarin' Over California voluntarily, and not as the result of any state mandate. "OSHA citations prompted a re-review of our safety protocols for cast members and contractors, which is why the two attraction are closed today," the Disneyland representative wrote in an email.
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