indiana-state-fair-collapse-falling

Indiana State Fair Collapse Report Blames Mid-America and IATSE?

Update 11:53am:  audio of the news conference releasing the IOSHA report that happened Wednesday, February 8, 2012.  heads up, it’s a direct link to the .WMA file the State released.

I’m a bit at odds with how to write this article because it is news, after all.

Governor Daniels and his people from the State departments tasked with finding out who to point the finger at with regards to the disaster in Indiana this summer at the Indiana State Fair finally put out their report.  Finally.  The report finds that Mid-America Sound and IATSE Local #30 for the issues.  Something I find confusing and disgusting is that:

  1. Governor Daniels has not acknowledged that the State has any blame;
  2. the PRODUCERS of this event haven’t had any blame placed on them, either.

Does anyone else find this disturbing?

Here are the blame documents and the safety violations with fines attached.  I downloaded the originals posted today.

  1. ISFC News Release
  2. IOSHA Inspections FACT SHEET
  3. Safety Order for the Indiana State Fair Commission
  4. Summary Sheet for the Indiana State Fair Commission
  5. Safety Order for IATSE Local #30
  6. Summary Sheet for IATSE Local #30
  7. Safety Order for Mid-America Sound
  8. Summary Sheet for Mid-America Sound

From a post at the Indy Star:

Lori A. Torres, Indiana Commissioner of Labor, said IOSHA’s role was not to determine what caused the stage rigging collapse but to look for workplace safety violations.

Torres said the State Fair Commission did not protect employees from hazards and had an inadequate plan for emergencies. Fair officials were slow to make appropriate decisions, Torres said.

IOHSA cited union riggers for failing to check soil conditions before securing guide wires. The construction was not “competent” by industry standards, the report said.
One stagehand, Nathan Byrd, was among those killed in the collapse. At least nine other union members were injured in the collapse.

The IOSHA investigation is only one of several investigations into the stage rigging collapse.

The State Fair Commission also hired Thornton Tomasetti, an engineering firm based in New York City, to investigate the rigging collapse.

Gov. Mitch Daniels later hired Witt Associates, a public safety and crisis management consulting firm based in Washington, D.C., to conduct a “comprehensive, independent analysis” of the fair’s preparedness and response to the disaster.

I feel it’s necessary to post the text from these summary sheets. See it listed below, it’s short. If you’re in the industry, look at this stuff. Once it becomes legal precedent, things are forever different. It’s our responsibility to watch how this unfolds in our industry.

Summary for Mid-America Sound:

Media Contact: Robert E. Dittmer, APR, 317.234.3793 Indiana Department of Labor – IOSHA Division

SUMMARY SHEET:  FATAL INJURY INVESTIGATION OUTCOME: Indiana State Fair (workplace)

IOSHA found that the Mid-America Sound Corporation, contracted to construct the Load Bearing Roof Structure on the 2011 Hoosier Lottery Grandstand stage, did not establish and maintain conditions of work which were reasonably safe and healthful for employees, and free from recognized hazards that were causing or likely to cause death or physical harm to employees. Therefore, the following safety violations are issued:

Knowing Violation 1:

  1. a)  Mid-America Sound did not develop and implement an Operations Management Planpertaining to the construction of the 2011 structure.
  2. b)  Mid America Sound, contracted to construct the Load Bearing Roof Structure on the 2011 Hoosier Lottery Grandstand stage, did not prepare proper layout drawings, engineering documentation, and Operations Management Plan for each use.
  3. c)  Mid America Sound, contracted to construct the Load Bearing Roof Structure on the 2011 Hoosier Lottery Grandstand stage, did not develop a risk assessment plan and make workers aware of the hazards pertaining to the construction of the 2011 structure.
  4. d)  Mid America Sound, contracted to construct the Load Bearing Roof Structure on the 2011 Hoosier Lottery Grandstand stage, did not conduct periodic inspections by a qualified person, with appropriate documentation, on the structure constructed at the 2011 Hoosier Lottery Grandstand.
  5. e)  Mid America Sound, contracted to construct the Load Bearing Roof Structure on the 2011 Hoosier Lottery Grandstand stage, did not keep records for each structural component pertaining to the 2011 structure.
    A $21,000 penalty has been assessed.

Knowing Violation 2:

a) Mid-America Sound, contracted to construct the Load Bearing Roof Structure on the 2011 Hoosier Lottery Grandstand stage, did not provide cross-bracing as recommended by the manufacturer.

  1. b)  Mid America Sound, contracted to construct the Load Bearing Roof Structure on the 2011 Hoosier Lottery Grandstand stage, did not take into consideration the soil conditions at the location.
  2. c)  Mid America Sound, contracted to construct the Load Bearing Roof Structure on the 2011 Hoosier Lottery Grandstand stage, did not designate a competent person.A $21,000 penalty has been assessed.

Knowing Violation 3:

  1. a)  Mid-America Sound did not have current engineering calculations, design notes, and test results for the structure constructed at the 2011 Hoosier Lottery grandstand.
  2. b)  Mid America Sound, contracted to construct the Load Bearing Roof Structure on the 2011 Hoosier Lottery Grandstand stage, did not have adequate knowledge of the engineering documentation pertaining to the construction of the 2011 structure.
  3. c)  Mid America Sound, contracted to construct the Load Bearing Roof Structure on the 2011 Hoosier Lottery Grandstand stage, did not take into full consideration weights of all equipment including but not limited to follow-spot chair, temporary personnel occupancy and reactions from fall protection systems pertaining to the 2011 structure.A $21,000 penalty has been assessed.

Total penalties assessed: $63,000.

Abatement is required on all violations no later than 03/06/2012.

The maximum allowable penalty under Indiana law for a Knowing violation is $70,000.

Mid-America Sound Corporation was notified of the findings if this investigation prior to the media briefing.

Summary for the Indiana State Fair:

Media Contact: Robert E. Dittmer, APR, 317.234.3793 Indiana Department of Labor – IOSHA Division

SUMMARY SHEET
FATAL INJURY INVESTIGATION OUTCOME: Indiana State Fair (workplace)

IOSHA found that the Indiana State Fair Commission did not establish and maintain conditions of work which were reasonably safe and healthful for employees, and free from recognized hazards that were causing or likely to cause death or physical harm to employees. Therefore, the following safety violations are issued:

Serious Violation: The Indiana State Fair Commission did not conduct a life safety evaluation which included an assessment of all conditions and the related appropriate safety measures, of the Indiana State Fairgrounds concert venues, such as but not limited to the Hoosier Lottery Grandstand, for events being held at the 2011 Indiana State Fair.

Abatement is required no later than 03/06/2012. A $6,300 penalty has been assessed.

The maximum allowable penalty under Indiana law for a Serious violation is $7,000.

The State Fair Commission was notified of the findings if this investigation prior to the media briefing.

Summary for IATSE Local #30:

Media Contact: Robert E. Dittmer, APR, 317.234.3793 Indiana Department of Labor – IOSHA Division

SUMMARY SHEET
FATAL INJURY INVESTIGATION OUTCOME: Indiana State Fair (workplace)

IOSHA found that the Local 30 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees including Theatrical Payroll Services did not establish and maintain conditions of work which were reasonably safe and healthful for employees, and free from recognized hazards that were causing or likely to cause death or physical harm to employees. Therefore, the following safety violations are issued:

Serious Violation 1: IATSE’s head rigger, required to make determinations on the construction and guy wire attachment points and placement of anchors on the load bearing roof structure on the 2011 Hoosier Lottery Grandstand stage, did not take into consideration the soil conditions at the location.

A $3,500.00 penalty has been assessed.

Serious Violation 2: Employees working at the Indiana State Fair Grounds, erecting the load bearing roof at the Hoosier Lottery Grandstand for the 2011 Indiana State Fair were not provided with fall protection from their employer for employees working 4 feet or more above ground level.

A $3,500 penalty has been assessed.

Serious Violation 3: The employer did not conduct a personal protective equipment hazard assessment of the work site to determine the personal protective equipment required when erecting the load bearing roof or any other jobs they perform at the Indiana State Fair grounds.

A $3,500 penalty has been assessed.

Non-Serious Violation 4: (SO #2) The employer did not maintain the OSHA 300 and did not have records of an OSHA 300A for the years 2011, 2010, 2009 and 2008.

A $1,000 penalty has been assessed.

Total penalties assessed: $11,500.
Abatement is required on all violations no later than 03/06/2012.
The maximum allowable penalty under Indiana law for a Serious violation is $7,000.
The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees including Theatrical Payroll Services was notified of the findings if this investigation prior to the media briefing.

What do you think?  Is this fair?  Is this sufficient for you?  Is this harsh?  Is this unjust?

Please post in the comments.  Share this with your groups.

5 replies
  1. KB
    KB says:

    Not really a surprise. OSHA’s role, by definition, is “not to determine what caused the [accident] but to look for workplace safety violations.” Same thing happened in an industrial accident that my company was involved in. Unfortunately in this case (at least from my minor understanding of the event), neither the state, nor the producers can be held responsible in OSHA’s eyes because they didn’t erect the stage. I could see them getting fined for not having a proper evacuation plan and perhaps not calling the show earlier. However, I don’t think those fall under “workplace safety violations.”

    I really hope that the other reports that are being generated come up with better answers and put some of the blame on the State and the producers.

  2. DBNW
    DBNW says:

    The most troubling part to me is the extent of fault found on the Local head rigger. I’ve seen circumstances where the lead has walked off a job due to promoter/stage owner committing known violations; all to often, they just bump someone up to lead that is willing to say “no problem, looks fine to me!”

    That said, the local lead does have the responsibility to say “whoa” in dangerous circumstances. 

  3. guest
    guest says:

    how is this local 30’s fault they are highered hands they do as there told by production they are only following orders

  4. April
    April says:

    IOSHA cited 29 CFR 1910.132 standards against the union. That would be incorrect. The proper standard would be 1926.95.

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