Sounds like political BS to me, or some kind of a legal back door just in case something happens. Or it could be OSHA trying to throw their weight around (probably a combination of the three). The department made some general statements about orcas, but do they really have any idea about what they are and how they behave? "Its a big animal with sharp teeth" is a gem. Those weren't the exact words, but thats what they meant...as if the people at SeaWorld and everyone whos seen a picture of an orca don't know this.
There is and has always been an risk to trainers...just like there is a risk with zookeepers and other animal handlers. If you issue a public statement to SeaWorld, than you issue it to all zoos, animal shows, dog shows, reptile farms...etc. Thats why the whole thing reeks of politics. SeaWorld has every right to bash this report because it's bad publicity, and I have doubts as to whether or not OSHA even has a clue on killer whales/marine life, or SeaWorld operations.
"Cal OSHA has decided to withdraw its informational memorandum and further review the narrative summary with the goal of rewriting the document to correct all deficiencies as they relate to its safety investigation of the Nov. 29, 2006 killer whale incident. SeaWorld officials expressed their surprise and serious concerns with the reports pointing out that they are riddled with inaccuracies, speculation and superficial suppositions, information unrelated to the investigation, and unsubstantiated and overreaching conclusions. Much of the information presented in the reports reflected a complete lack of understanding of the complexities of marine mammal biology, behavior and husbandry."
Fred JacobsAnheuser-Busch Adventure Parks
Cal/OSHA Revisits its Reports on Sea World Investigation
San Diego—On February 27, the Division of Occupational Safety and Health(Cal/OSHA) concluded its investigation into the November accident at Sea Worldin San Diego. As a result, Sea World was issued a citation alleging twonon-serious violations of occupational safety and health standards and an“information memorandum.” In issuing the “information memorandum,” Cal/OSHAviolated its own policies and procedures. This error is being addressed andCal/OSHA regrets the difficulties it may have caused Sea World, its staff, andits patrons.
Cal/OSHA realized its error when it met with Sea World officials yesterday todiscuss these reports. As a result, Cal/OSHA will take corrective action,including withdrawing the “Information Memorandum” in accordance with itspolicies and procedures. According to written Cal/OSHA policy and procedure, an“Information Memorandum” is issued to advise employers when conditions thatviolate occupational safety and health standards are found, but there is noevidence that employees have been exposed to those conditions; it alertsemployers so that action can be taken to eliminate those conditions or to ensurethat no employee is exposed to them. In the case of Sea World, the “InformationMemorandum” addressed conditions that were fully in compliance with existingregulations; therefore, there was no basis for it.
Additionally, Cal/OSHA will thoroughly review the “Narrative Summary,” an18-page supplemental report in the file, and will make any necessary revisionsto conform with Cal/OSHA policies and procedures. Cal/OSHA acknowledges thatmany of the statements made in the “Narrative Summary” require expertise inanimal behavior, which Cal/OSHA does not have. Also, some of the expressions ofopinion and other statements contained in the report stray from describing theevidence and are clearly inappropriate.
Finally, at least three of the recommendations found in the “InformationMemorandum” reflect actions Sea World has already implemented or has taken underconsideration. Accordingly, the company’s actions are fully consistent with thetype of procedural review requested by this document.