Schlitterbahn Fined $96,000 after Worker’s Death in South Padre Island Park

Schlitterbahn was fined $96,000 as the result of an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) into a lifeguard’s death and the serious injury of a maintenance supervisor at the company’s park in South Padre Island, Texas

About the South Padre Island Schlitterbahn Accident

  • According to the Houston Chronical, the accident occurred in March when a lifeguard and maintenance worker entered the park’s wave generation machine.
  • The machine inadvertently activated, pinning the two employees between the gate and the wall of the machine.
  • The lifeguard, 20, died as a result, and the maintenance supervisor suffered serious injury.

OSHA Fines Schlitterbahn Hit with Costly Willful Violation Citations

“By failing to properly train its workers and provide appropriate lock-out and tag-out procedures for hazardous energy sources, Schlitterbahn tragically exposed its workers to unnecessary risks.” – Michael Rivera, OSHA’s Corpus Christi area director, as published by the Houston Chronical

  • During an investigation by the Corpus Christi, Texas offices of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Enterprize Management Inc. and Schlitterbahn Beach Resort Management LLC., both doing business as Schlitterbahn  Beach Waterpark and Resort in South Padre, were cited for multiple worker safety violations.
  • The most costly was a willful violation for failing to develop, document and utilize procedures to control potentially hazardous energy for equipment which resulted in a fine of $70,000.
  • This violation was tied to workers being exposed to conditions in which they could be crushed by equipment, electrocuted, or struck by other hazards.
  • The violation was considered willful as the OSHA determined park officials knew of the law’s requirements and still intentionally disregarded worker health and safety.
Schlitterbahn Cited for Multiple Serious Violations
  • Schlitterbahn was fined an additional $26,000 for five serious violations.
  • Serious violations occur when a hazard, about which an employer knew or should have known, is most likely to result in death or serious physical energy.
  • The serious violations observed included:
    • Failure to provide railing on the open sides of all exposed stairways and elevated platforms.
    • Failure to train workers to identify hazardous energy sources and follow safety procedures.
    • Failure to conduct inspections of energy control procedures.
    • Failure to install guard shafts in park water pumps.
    • Failure to properly secure an electrical junction box to the wall.
Contact an Experienced Workplace Accident Attorney

Thomas J. Henry fight to protect the rights of workplace injury victims. If you or someone you love has been injured or killed on the job, contact Thomas J. Henry. The goal of our offices is to not only protect your rights, but to send a message so the same tragedy does not happen again. We represent clients/victims all over the country.

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