Dorney Park, an amusement park in Allentown, Pennsylvania, has been cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for unsafe working conditions for employees. More specifically, the citation resulted from the Park failing to protect workers from heat hazards and illness.
A June 9 investigation prompted by the teen’s collapse near a food stand fryer revealed that Dorney Park’s outdoor and food staff, the majority of whom are seasonally employed teenagers, were exposed to heat hazards during their summer employment, a news release says. According to the complaint OSHA received, the worker who collapsed sustained burns.
Dorney Park faces a $7,000 fine and possibly other penalties.
Let’s face it, when we all go to amusement parks in the summer, one of the biggest battles we have, besides hour long lines, is heat. We slurp down huge 32 ounce drinks all day to cool off and stay hydrated. So think about these workers who are in that heat all day, usually in uniforms. Obviously, due to the citing by OSHA, appropriate measure to protect from heat exposure and exhaustion were not in place to protect these employees.
“In summer temperatures, amusement park workers face an increased risk of heat-related illness and death,” OSHA Allentown Area Office Director Jean Kulp said in the release. “The threat of heat stress can be reduced significantly by establishing a heat illness prevention program for indoor and outdoor workers. The program should include effective training; consistently available water and shaded breaks; a thorough review of heat illness incidents; and acclimatization.”
Hopefully at some point, employers like Dorney Park, will come to the realization that the best assets they have in their business are the people that work for them everyday. All too often that is a misplaced understanding. Cost saving before safety never works in the end.
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