SAN FRANCISCO -- The Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) today issued two serious citations to Disneyland as a result of its investigation into the December 24, 1998 accident on the Sailing Ship Columbia. The accident resulted in the death of a park guest, and serious injuries to a second guest and a park employee.
"Through interviews and review of training records and procedures our investigators determined that the injured employee had not received training on the specific procedures to follow in docking the Columbia," said John Howard, Cal/OSHA Chief. "The employee never performed a docking of the ship prior to the one that led to the bow cleat being ripped off the hull and propelled back toward the waiting passengers."
Disneyland was cited for not adequately training the employee who was docking the ship when the accident occurred. The training violation was cited as serious and carries a $6,250 penalty. A second violation cited as serious was issued for the overloading of the bow cleat and also carries a penalty of $6,250. Cal/OSHA standards require that equipment used by employees not be operated or loaded beyond the intended working levels.
The investigation revealed that the accident occurred because the cleat on the ship was designed to hold the ship at the dock and was not strong enough to be used to brake the vessel's forward motion. The employee placed the docking line on the cleat even though the ship was moving too fast to stop at the dock. Ride procedures call for the ship's captain to reverse the ship if it overshoots the dock and then reapproach the dock at the correct speed.
California law provides that the company may appeal Cal/OSHA citations and penalties within 15 working days to the Occupational Safety and Health Appeals Board.