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Pennsylvania amusement park receives OSHA violations

Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom in South Whitehall Township received citations on Dec. 29 from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The citations were for two violations, one of which was serious, dating back to a June 9 incident in which a teenage worker at the park collapsed due to a heat-related illness.

Reportedly, the teen had been working near a fryer in one of the park's food stands. After becoming ill, the teen collapsed. According to the complaint, the teen also suffered burns. The incident prompted the investigation by OSHA into the park's safety practices. The violations allege that the company failed to take any measures to help protect its workers from heat-related injuries and illnesses. Most of the park's workers are teenagers who work at the park during the summer as seasonal employees.

The safety violation was deemed a serious one, meaning the violation could potentially have led to serious injury or death. The fine for that violation is up to a maximum of $7,000. The owner of the park, Cedar Fair Entertainment Company, also was cited for keeping inadequate records with a fine of up to $2,000. The company has 15 days from the citation dates to respond.

Employers are required by federal and state regulations to take preventative measures designed to reduce the likelihood their workers will suffer injuries or illnesses due to their working conditions. When those standards are violated, the employer may be fined and ordered to take corrective action by OSHA. An employee who suffers from a workplace illness may file a claim with the employer's workers' compensation insurance carrier. Workers' compensation benefits can include coverage of the resulting medical expenses. If a temporary or permanent disability arises due to the illness, workers may also receive monthly disability payments to recoup their lost income.

Source: LehighValleyLive.com, "Dorney Park workers exposed to heat hazards; teen's collapse leads to citation, OSHA reports", Precious Petty, December 29, 2014

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