The Walt Disney Company continues to be Orange County’s largest employer – adding 5,000 more jobs since they finished remodeling their California Adventures Park. But if you are thinking about applying for one of those jobs, you may be interested in checking out their California Occupational Safety and Health Agency (OSHA) violations, complaints and inspection records.
This information is available to the public and can be found here. There are 38 entries since 2007.
The most interesting entries are the accident reports. One such incident occurred on January 10, 201o, when a cast member “attempted to climb over a 4-foot-tall wooden fence carrying a screwdriver and electrical tester. As he made it part of the way over the fence, Employee #1 fell backwards and landed on his left arm, which he extended to break his fall.”
A year or so before that incident a Disney cast member literally stepped in it. According to the OSHA report, “On February 15, 2010 Employee #1, a full time kitchen cleaner during the “graveyard shift” at Disneyland Resort, was walking through the kitchen and placed his right foot in a bucket of cleaner whose top edge was 27 inches off the floor. He said he did not know that there was Oasis Enforce, a corrosive cleaner, in the bucket. Facilities were available for washing off his foot at the restaurant but he did not. After the incident, he did not remove his sock nor wash off his foot for 2 days. When his foot was bothering him, three days later he reported the incident to his employer. Employee #1 received a chemical burn to the top of his right foot for which he underwent surgery to receive skin grafts.”
A few months after that incident a Disney engineer burned his face while working on a locomotive. According to the OSHA report, “On April 19, 2010, Employee #1, an operating engineer of Disneyland Resort, was repairing Locomotive Number 4. He was unclogging an obstructed fuel line using pressurized air to force the obstructing back into the firebox. The operation caused a flash explosion, and Employee #1 was hospitalized for first and second degree burns to his face, ears, and right arm.”
Disneyland has come a long way with regard to their use of fall protection equipment, but back in 2008, a cast member took a bad fall and broke his hips when he failed to tie off while working at a height of six feet. According to the OSHA report, “On December 20, 2008, Employee #1, a night shift custodian, was performing various cleaning duties throughout an amusement park. On that night, he was assigned to use a power washer to clean a raised platform of several hundred square feet used by clients for exiting a ride known as Screamin. Employee #1 had received safety training for this task and had performed it several times before. He began cleaning a section of the ground, and he turned his back to a small area approximately 30 ft that did not have railing to protect against falling. Employee #1 walked off the edge of the platform backwards, falling a distance of 6 ft upon the cement ground. He suffered fractures to both hips. At a medical center, he underwent surgery and was hospitalized for five days.
That same year a cast member amputated part of a finger while working in the kitchen of a Disney restaurant. According to the OSHA report, “On September 16, 2008, Employee #1, a culinary host, was using a food processor in the kitchen of the restaurant located in the amusement park. He was pushing raw vegetables into the food processor chute. Employee #1 was holding vegetables with his left hand, while pushing the vegetables into the food processor chute with the push guard in his right hand. He was wearing a cut glove on his left hand. Employee #1’s left hand was momentarily caught and pulled into the chute with the vegetables he was holding, and contacted the food processor blade. His left middle fingertip was amputated by the moving blade. Employee #1 was taken to a nearby medical center for surgery on his hand the same day.”
You may also find out about OSHA incidents at Disneyland Hotel by clicking here.
When I worked at Disneyland, in their safety department, they had just hired a new safety manager for the west coast. He was very upset because the OSHA accident rate at Disneyland was twice the industry average. As you can see by reading the accident reports above, many of the cast member accidents at Disneyland are caused by the cast members themselves.
Disneyland hires a lot of young people and they allow workers to keep working until they literally drop dead – which happens quite often. They also hire a lot of folks, particularly in the hotels, who are not conversant in English. This mix of workers results in more accidents than you might expect, despite the best efforts of the Disney safety department.
But one factor that came up again and again was the allegation that Disney has too few managers on staff – which might be the case but I never saw any metrics to bolster that theory.
As you can see by reading OSHA’s Disney records, accidents do happen at Disneyland and they can be quite serious.