Major Disneyland attractions shut over OSHA violations

California Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA) has served notice on Disneyland over three attractions, which led to their shut-down yesterday. In 2006, Disney agreed to make changes to the staff areas at the park, and the OSHA notice apparently related to lack of progress on these promises.

The citations were related a 2006 agreement to make improvements and to inspections following recent accidents such as the man who was seriously injured while cleaning the outside of Space Mountain. The findings include simple failures like not having a charged fire extinguisher and more serious ones like failure to protect employees from unsafe ladders or lack of railings preventing a fall hazard. Serious fines of up to $70,000 for each infraction could be levied if Disneyland does not comply immediately with the requests (although appeal is also an option). Total penalties for just the Space Mountain citations could reach over $230,000.

These are the same sort of hazards that forced Disneyland to close Alice in Wonderland until temporary scaffolding could be erected with guardrails. The park still hasn’t made permanent fixes there.

There were a lot of violations listed in the citation, here are a few of those listed as Willful Serious:

“Disneyland Resort failed to correct the unsafe work practice of employees of both Disneyland Resort and HSG Inc. accessing upper exterior platform of a building (Space Mountain) to change lights, and perform other maintenance tasks without the protection of guardrails or personal fall protection...”

Disneyland forced to close attractions by OSHA [The Disney Blog/John Frost]


    1. OSHA is… legendarily toothless… for reasons that definitely have nothing whatsoever to do with lobbyists. I’m surprised that they managed to actually get anything shut down.

      The watering-down of substantive protections is so drastic that there are cases where people end up pursuing on-the-job deaths as negligent homicides, under the law dealing with those generally, rather than as occupational safety issues; because the penalties for negligently killing your employees are lower than the penalties for negligently killing people generally.

    2. That’s not really the point.  $230k will buy one hell of a lot of guardrails; plus Disney gets on the front page of BoingBoing and plenty of other bad press.

      That said, they really should train their employees to press shift when working at high altitude.  You’ll never fall if you press shift, unless a creeper gets you.

      1. It’s the freaking Magical Kingdom. Just flipping set your maintenance crew (costumed/suited cast members could benefit from this, especially Tink) to Creative. Falling from a height because of OSHA violations? Double-tap spacebar, emergency handled.

        God, Disney, give me OP already, I’ll handle this myself.

      1. Well, seeing as how it the rides themselves don’t generate any extra income but DO incur running costs it probably saves the parks money to have them closed for a while.

        So your suggested exercise may not have been taxing but it would have been without point and, in fact, contra-indicative of the finances of this situation.

        1. What a beautifully constructed layer cake of sophistry and ignorance that is. I suspect even on a hundredth reading it could yield some previously undiscovered morsel of unintended hilarity.

    3. $230,000 is equivalent to what… 90 seconds of gate receipts?

      I came in here looking for this observation, here it is on the first post.

      Somewhat related:
      About our 3-year old’s birthday, my wife and I agreed to a party, leave a trip to LA and Disneyland for next year.
      A week after a lovely but expensive party, she tried to sneak it in:  Friends were gonna take their kid to Disney in May and really want us to come along, and we can’t let them down, now can we? A week after the party!

      Thank you Boing Boing, for placing even more good ammo in my already outraged arsenal:  “I ain’t going to no Disneyland unless I get to ride Space Mountain!”

      Jokes aside, my son loves trains (thanks to Thomas), and I rue the fact that we will never share the Rainbow Caverns Mine Train.  Such a gentle ride, I loved it when I was a boy.

    4. Exactly what I was thinking. Although I’m a couple of thousand miles away, I think I can actually hear the deep belly laughs of Disney execs reading about “serious fines of up to $70,000.”

    5. well, taking an average attendance of 40k, and assuming that most people buy the 1 or 2 day tickets (simplifying all the options to $100/person), but that some people are attending with annual passes (~850k holders supposedly, and 4+ attendance/year required for them to break even =~ 12k+ annual pass holders/ day =~ $60/person @ 5 visits/year). This brings in the daily ticket revenue to ~3.5million/day. Average 12h operating hours brings that down to ~$292k/hour (obviously this is fantasy, due to bias in arrival times, but anyway…) 
      That $230k works out to ~ 50 minutes worth of gate ticket revenue.

    1. In a Whuffie economy, those who failed to observe safety protocol and were killed (or even did and were killed) wouldn’t cause an impact unless they had high Whuffie and it reflected poorly on the folks who made the attraction.

  1. He y look,  a powerful corporation doesn’t care about its employees. I am shocked. This is my shocked face. :|

    1. If you think Kevin`s story is something…, last pay check my girlfriends brother basically also made $6433 workin fifteen hours a week from their apartment and the’re best friend’s aunt`s neighbour did this for 3 months and easily made over $6433 part time on their labtop. use the instructions at this website,…. …… ZOO80.ℂom

  2. Purgatory was also the local’s name of Durango’s ski resort, but the powers that be have tried for years to eliminate it from the branding. So cool to see it out there. Finding old PURG hats and logo gear is tough.

  3. Hey, why’s OSHA getting involved?  Everyone knows that cartoon characters fall, get crushed, disemboweled, etc. and come back just fine in the next frame anyway.  This IS Disneyland, after all.

  4. This is the kind of thing that would have dear old Uncle Walt turning over in his cryogenic vat.  Like the Colonel going ballistic when he found out KFC franchises were watering down his gravy recipe, to save a few pennies on the dollar.

  5. Those guard rails are already up at Alice in Wonderland, and they completely ruin the outdoor portion of the ride. You used to burst out through the crash doors and have wonderful dizzying sense of height. Now it feels like you’re just waiting in another line. 

    1. Exactly. Also, is the Splash Mountain and Matterhorn seating a part of government regulations? If so, I do not agree with it. 

  6. Some of this stuff is Disney trying to figure out out how to theme the equipment because it looks like crap ala Alice and Wonderland.  Space mountain is actually safety rails on the outside of the building where they change lightbulbs and so fourth, I thought those guys just strapped in with safety harnesses to get around the safety rail requirements.  I have a feeling Matterhorn is going to look really bad soon when they get all the safety rails up.  I have no idea what could be wrong with Soarin, thats a newer ride shouldnt even have safety access issues, But Saturday was deffinetely crowded and with those giant people sucking rides down it made other areas of the park a hassle, Pirates had a huge wait, and the roped off que lines went to the haunted mantion and back.  

  7. Did EuroDisney get fined for squishing that cleaner in ‘It’s a small world” last year?  I bet they docked his pay – making a gory mess when he should have been cleaning.

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