OSHA issues citations to Cirque du Soleil
New York fans of Cirque du Soleil, which has been performing shows for 29 years, may have been surprised when they heard about the tragedy that befell the company back in June. A 31-year-old performer, who had been with the company for six years, fell to her death during a live performance of 'Ka" in Las Vegas. OSHA launched an investigation into the circumstances surrounding her death and determined that the wire rope she was suspended from became severed during a rapid descent during the performance.
OSHA also suggests that the performer had not been properly trained and that the company had not adequately assessed the workplace area before the performance began. Consequently, OSHA has issued six citations to Cirque, which may total more than $25,000. This is the first time that a performer with the company has died during a live show. However, one performer died after falling off a trampoline while training in Montreal in 2009, and others were injured during various performances across the country, including another show in Las Vegas.
OSHA also issued three citations to MGM Grand, the hotel where Cirque was being performed on the night that the accident occurred. Both Cirque and MGM Grand stated that they plan on filing an appeal against the citations. Cirque stated that the performer was wearing the provided safety harness before the fall. According to a statement, the entertainment company has redoubled their efforts to ensure performer and crew safety since the accident. The company further stated that the safety of its members has always been its highest priority.
Whether the company has to pay fines to OSHA or not, it might still have to face a workers' compensation claim. The family members of the deceased performer might seek compensation for the financial costs related to the woman's death.