I'm sorry, but we're passing beyond the normal range of spurious correlation here. It really looks like it is past time for the federal OSHA to do a stem-to-strern investigation of employee safety at Walt Disney World. And Disney's labor unions should be out in front, demanding it.
Disney's safety record this summer is beyond pathetic.
I think the state government needs to intervene...not that they will do a much better job, but perhaps it will cause WDW management to start tightening things up around there. All these deaths can't just be coincidence.
These last two deaths are from falling, head injuries. I'm starting to wonder if perhaps these people are being overworked due to the cutbacks taking place. Maybe they are working too many hours, are tired, and making mistakes that cost their lives. I'm sure we will hear more about this.
Very sad indeed. My condolences to the family and fellow cast members.
I'm still not convinced these events are more than a freakish (and tragic) coincidence this summer. But a very, very close look is still in order.
I respond: I'm sure they will. But I am wondering what OSHA would do (or could have done) if this tragedy was caused not by the working environment but rather an acrobatic maneuver gone awry (Orlando Sentinel: "He was doing a tumbling roll after 7 p.m. when he was hurt.")
Disney knows this, and will adjust its proposed settlements to the families, accordingly.
Disney is facing substantial financial claims over these incidents.
Part of Disney's responsibility as an employer is to ensure that the performer has been shown and has demonstrated how to do the maneuver in a safe manner. That's what OSHA would examine, and potentially require Disney to re-review with each of its performers.
With two stunt deaths in a short period, that should raise a red flag about the training that performers are getting. Maybe it is coincidence, maybe not. But someone needs to come in and prod Disney to re-review safety with its employees, to help better ensure that this does not happen again.
And the whole monorail incident appears to have been a management melt-down of colossal proportion.
I Respond: Correct. But as of this writing there is no evidence that Disney did not "ensure that the performer has been shown and has demonstrated how to do the maneuver in a safe manner." And, it's my understanding that all stunt performers are union members whose stewards should also ensure safety as well.
Mr. Niles writes: With two stunt deaths in a short period, that should raise a red flag about the training that performers are getting.
I Respond: It's my understanding that the previous death occurred because the performer slipped and fell on a wet spot on the stage. And that he was not doing stunt work at the time.
Ouch, too soon...
It's a bad time all around for safety. Just what is going on out there?
And I'm genuinely curious about RH's statement regarding the monorail incident. What has been uncovered so far?
Sure OSHA should look into the pattern, but really, I think its just been a unlucky summer for WDW since it seems that of the big three deaths at WDW, all three are freaky incidents and two current ones appear to be something in which the person could have easily have been injured instead of dead.
Again, bad new for Disney and the family, but I don't think a witch hunt on Disney via OSHA is going to solve any problems
In the case of the Monorail accident I'm with everyone else who blames Disney, but these last two deaths? Come on People. I work for one of the largest Companies in the world, they do what they can to keep me safe when I'm at work, but if I fall down the stairs when I'm going to Lunch how is it the companies fault. Better yet, if I die how is suing them for millions going to make things any easier for my family?
Before we all throw Disney under the bus and say there responsible for all these deaths let’s look at the facts.
TH CreativeYou said you work on large construction projects. If one of your employees is working on some scaffolding and decides to unclip his safety harness for comfort, if he falls it's his fault. In this case your company has spent time and money training the employees the correct way to tie in and remain safe. If the employee chooses to ignore the safety instructions he/she was given does the burden of responsibility fall on the Employee? Where do you draw the line of responsibility for the Employer?
When I worked as a lead at Disney World, my CMs were like my kids are now. They were my responsibility to lead and to protect. That's how I felt about the guests in my area when I worked as an operator, too.
There were *plenty* of occasions at Disney when I could have stuck to the narrow duties of my assigned tasks and watched someone get hurt. I never did. My job wasn't simply to performed my assigned tasks. It was to keep myself and the people around me safe, before all else. After that, I was to give them a good show.
One afternoon driving the Tom Sawyer's Island rafts, I'd just cast off from the mainland dock and was about to put the raft into forward gear when I saw an Indian family gesturing to someone onshore. (They weren't speaking English, so verbal communication was off the table.)
I looked toward the dock, and, sure enough, here came a middle-aged Indian woman, in a sari, running toward the water like she was going to jump for it.
There was *no way* she was going to make it. Now, do I continue with my assigned task and drive the raft to the island, hoping that common sense will prevail and she'd stop?
Heck, no. I slammed the raft into reverse and swung the front end around, back toward the dock, so that the woman could make the jump without falling in the river.
Yeah, I effectively rewarded some guests for breaking a slew of park rules. But I kept that woman from falling in the river, or worse. Safety was my top priority.
Having monorail managers supervise track switches from a restaurant isn't putting safety first. Sending performers out on wet stages isn't putting safety first. And, obviously, from the fact that a performer died, safety wasn't adequately protected at the Indiana Jones stage last night.
I don't know who to blame for any of these. I hope that OSHA will. But I had also hoped that the first death would have inspired someone, inside the Walt Disney Company or outside it, to demand that Disney re-emphasize to all of its employees the importance of protecting the safety for fellow employees and guests.
Obviously, that message didn't get through to enough cast members before the second death. And now, the third.
Perhaps I value human life a bit more than some of the other readers of this site (to be clear, I'm not talking about TH here, who seems to me as tenacious about safety as I am). But I cannot tolerate deaths in theme parks. I believe that every single theme park death is preventable, and should be.
And even if they can't, that level of vigilance is what is necessary to keep the number of deaths to an absolute minimum.
I'm not seeing that vigilance at the Walt Disney World Resort right now. And that disturbs me, greatly. Someone, inside Disney or in the Florida or federal governments, needs to fix this.
I'm with you that every Human life is precious. Sending out a performer to a wet stage where that person has a choice to perform or not can't be compared to someone leaving there post at the Monorail switch where hundreds are in danger.
The driver of the Monorail was doing what he was supposed to do, he even tried to move the train to save others. The performers on the wet stage had a choice, and obviously thought conditions were tolerable to perform. No one at Disney forced either of the performers out on stage.
What I'm trying to figure out is why is it someone else’s fault? Why couldn't either of the most recent deaths be true accident where the victim was at fault? I would like to know like everyone else what happened and what can be done to prevent this from happening again. That said, I'm not prepared to say the federal government needs to step in and take charge when most signs point to the victims being at fault. If I slip in a puddle of water it's not the person who caused the puddles fault, it's my fault for not seeing the puddle.
I Respond: It is my understanding that the water was on a stage where the actor was performing. That really is a work environment designed by the company. Before the sets foot on that stage (work environment) where his attention (per the direction of his employer) is on his performance. In that context it seems incumbent upon his employer to ensure that while he is going through that performance the stage (work enviroment) is free of hazards.
To put it another way, if a Disney Loss/Prevention Manager had seen the water on the stage, he would have directed that it be removed before the performance began -- in order to provide a safe work environment.
I Respond: In the case of the second incident, it is my understanding that the water was on a stage where the actor was performing. That really is a work environment designed by the company. Before the sets foot on that stage (work environment) where his attention (per the direction of his employer) is on his performance. In that context it seems incumbent upon his employer to ensure that while he is going through that performance the stage (work enviroment) is free of hazards.
I hope you all know I do not take this death lightly or jokingly, especially because Disney claims to be BIG on safety, which is something that I think Robert is coming from. Disney has some big "pillars" that they like to follow such as safety, show, effecientcy, and a few others I can't remember at the moment. I think everybody values life on the site, but you mentioned it before Robert, you have been there and lived it.
Kudos to Robert Niles though. TPI serves a huge service to all being one of the few places that has a credible accident list for all the parks.
Even after all this time, the death is really strange in my opinion. OSHA going or not is not in debate. Even if this poor guy was hurt, they would have been called. I just think that on the surface, Disney could not have prevented this accident like the first two, especially the monorail incident.
Should they look into it? Sure, but I am afraid they will not find anything.
Doing thier job from a resturant in Monorail incident? I have never heard that story which makes it seem more horrifying!
My cousin is Elvin Bale. Once known as the greatest daredevil in the world and revered by everyone in the business including Evel Kneivel.During one show he suffered a terrible accident when one of his stunts went wrong and his career as a performer ended. He could so easily have been killed but thankfully was not.( He still trains new stars at Cole Bros )
My point is that, despite every stunt being rehearsed and honed to perfection and every safety measure taken , accidents WILL happen in this business. It's a sad fact of life and stunt performers all know the risks. That's why I , like many others, respect so much what they do for us in the name of entertainment
That said , I sincerely hope that Disney is allowing the necessary skill levels to be achieved before performers become part of the act. The same applies to all CMs in positions of responsibiilty for either their own or someone else's saftey at WDW.
The number of tragedies in such a short time period is pretty high and would suggest that something isn't right. Age isn't an issue but experience certainly is. It doesn't matter if a monorail driver is young or old so long as he's fit for the job.
Everything must be done to minimise the risk of injury or worse to Park staff. Let's hope that it is and that Disney is not failing in it's duty of care.
I do send the prayers to those that lost the family members, but at the same time I can only say that they were accidents. I mean for one, the water could have been from the stunt show itself. There is no telling if it was previously there or not.
And how exactly did the person die from doing a tumble roll.
The only accident that can actually be investigated was the monorail crash. Someone was at fault, and someone wasn't paying attention because you can see those monorails coming from a ways away. Especially if you are sitting in the cabins. And I have been on those during its stops, it don't take that long to stop the cars.
Although Sad, there is not much disney can or should do...
I Respond: Actually what is "ridiculous" would be someone drawing ANY conclusion before a full investigation is complete.
This morning at the Peabody construction site. Two guys on a mastclimber (a 22 story tall moving scaffold) fail to secure a 12 foot plank. It gets knocked off the climber and falls 17 stories to the ground below. Thankfully, no one was injured.
Oh and while its still too many, three Disney Cast Members did not die in one month. The monorail thing happened Early July and then these two happened in mid August. It doesn't really matter since three is WAY too much two months, but just a thought!
What part was the guy who was killed actually playing?
Was he in the lead role of Indiana himself or one of the supporting actors?