Orlando Workplace Fatality: OSHA Fines SeaWorld for Deadly Orca Whale Attack
08/25/2010 // WPB, FL, USA // Personal Injury Lawyers News // Nicole Howley
Orlando, FL– Following a deadly orca whale attack at SeaWorld Orlando, which killed a SeaWorld trainer, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has levied $75,000 in fines against the theme park, as reported by Discovery News.
OSHA formally cited SeaWorld on Monday, August 23, 2010, for three worker safety violations, which totaled to $75,000 in fines. One violation is called a “willful violation” for “exposing its (SeaWorld’s) employees to struck-by and drowning hazard when interacting with killer whales. The agency defines a willful violation as one committed with plain indifference to or intentional disregard for employee safety and health.”
On February 24, 2010, SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau, was in a tank in with one of the captive orcas, Tilikum, when the incident occurred. The 12,000-pound orca whale reportedly grabbed her ponytail, dragging her under the water where she was sadly deprived of air and drowned. The Orange County Sheriff’s Office reported that Brancheau was pronounced dead at the scene. Sea World officials believe that the trainer’s ponytail likely caused the incident. Tilikum has reportedly been involved in two situations prior to this one, which resulted in two fatalities.
Legal News Reporter: Nicole Howley-Legal news for Florida workplace accident lawyers.