OSHA Opens Investigation into Accident in Cirque’s “LOVE”

The Nevada Occupational Safety and Health Administration is back in a Cirque du Soleil theater for the second time this year, investigating February 16th’s accident at “The Beatles Love” at The Mirage. Nevada OSHA spokeswoman Teri Williams confirmed Tuesday the safety enforcement agency has opened an investigation into the incident during which a Cirque performer fell during the show’s closing number.

Reportedly, the performer, whose name is being withheld, fell some 20 feet to the stage and suffered injuries to his arm and back, along with internal injuries. He was treated on site, hospitalized and is expected to return to the show.

The agency also reviewed the accident in “O” at Bellagio on Jan. 5, when an artist fell from the show’s Russian swing apparatus, finding no violations. The company was not called in to investigate the accident at “R.U.N” at Luxor, when a motorcycle artist was injured in the show’s preview opening and was treated on site.

Williams said that Cirque reported the incident to OSHA, as is required any time a member of the company is hospitalized after being injured on the job. In such instances, the agency assigns a certified health and safety official (CSHO) to begin an inquiry into the event.

The process is extensive. The official visits the work site to review injury and illness logs, read training records, evaluate the employer’s written safety and health plan, review the work area where the incident took place, collect photos and video of the incident, and conduct interviews with employees and company safety officials.

According to Nevada law, the process must be completed within six months, but there is no established deadline before that six-month requirement. After collecting its information, OSHA would either inform Cirque there is no penalty or issue the appropriate citation to address the violations.

Meantime, “Love” continues to run its normal schedule, twice daily at 7 and 9:30 p.m. (dark Sundays and Mondays). The show is due to mark its 14th anniversary at Mirage in June.

{ SOURCE: Las Vegas Review-Journal }