Monday, April 27, 2015

Ringling Bros. Agrees to Improve Safety in Settlement Agreement

As part of a settlement with DOL, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus agreed to implement ongoing safety enhancements in aerial acts. The agreement concerns an OSHA citation issued in connection with last year’s incident in Providence, RI, in which eight aerialists were badly injured while performing their “Hair Hang” act. During the May 4 show, the carabiner used to support the performers failed, and they fell 15 ft to the ground, injuring a ninth employee who was struck by the falling aerialists.

The OSHA inspection determined that the carabiner was not loaded per manufacturer’s instructions. Under the settlement, the circus agrees to take several ongoing actions:
  • All new and existing aerial acts will be reviewed by a registered P.E.
  • For each act, assemble and provide to each circus unit a technical book.
  • Develop a written checklist for equipment and hardware inspections for each act.
  • Each circus unit will conduct an annual safety day that will address employee safety topics.