CriticalDance Forum

Atlanta Ballet And OSHA Settle Case
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Author:  salzberg [ Mon Feb 09, 2009 8:11 am ]
Post subject:  Atlanta Ballet And OSHA Settle Case

Atlanta Ballet and OSHA have reached an accommodation:

Atlanta Ballet’s wrangling with the federal government over a 2007 “Nutcracker” accident might be coming to an end.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has withdrawn punitive action against Atlanta Ballet for a case involving a 17-year-old dancer who fell about 12 feet into the orchestra pit at the Fox Theatre, according to ballet executive director Barry Hughson.

More in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Author:  LMCtech [ Mon Feb 09, 2009 12:29 pm ]
Post subject: 

Good news for the company. I'm having trouble imagining a performance with a guard-rail in it.

Author:  salzberg [ Mon Feb 09, 2009 1:19 pm ]
Post subject: 

There was a brief time in the late 70s/early 80s when OSHA was insisting that any powered pit have guard rails...which is why theatres of that era were built with manual pits.

In this case, there was no reason the pit had to be down other -- I'm guessing here -- than that the ballet wanted to save the expense of striking and resetting the chairs, lights, and stands -- a not-inconsequential expense, to be sure, but less than the psychic and financial toll of injury or death.

There was no reason why the costume could not have been built with better visibility.

There was no reason why a WIIIIIIDE yellow warning stripe couldn't have been placed along -- or better yet, 6" US of -- the edge of the pit (this also is a guess on my part, but I'd bet money there was none).

The best way to keep safety folks from riding your butt is to follow good safety procedures.

When I was managing a theatre on a university campus, one day, one of the campus safety officers came by to introduce a new hire. As they were leaving, I heard him say, "You won't have to worry about these guys; they're more hard-ass than we are."

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