CMU School of Drama

Thursday, April 20, 2017

No fines issued after OSHA investigation into Cirque du Soleil performer’s fall

www.cirquefascination.com: The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration has found no major safety violations after an investigation into a Cirque du Soleil performer’s fall last year.

Karina Silva Poirier, an aerial silk performer with Cirque at Disney Springs, was seriously injured after falling about 45 feet during a practice session Oct. 20.

5 comments:

Angel Zhou said...

Though I cannot make assumptions about this case, I do know that I disagree with the way that Cirque du Soleil treated its previous fall (a fatality), Sarah Guyard-Guillot, whom they claimed had too little experience with a skill that she had trained for years to do. Essentially, they blamed the performer instead of the equipment (she climbed “too quickly”). I find this a terrible precedent for their future accidents, and can’t say I’m surprised that they are once again claiming no fault on their end. At some point, these companies need to understand that it is one thing to claim that they care about their employees, and it’s another thing to act as if they do. I wish companies that ask their employees to risk their lives for the entertainment of others and their own profit would stop forcing employees to do really dangerous things in order to increase revenue. The world is all about money, and it is times like these when that really gets frustrating.

Evan Schild said...

Its hard reading articles like this. On one hand you want to see the company get into huge fines and legal actions to get fair justice but also you want to see the company learn. I think that OSHA should have given more suggestions on what to do in the future to prevent things like this from happening. The only thing they talked about was a fine for people not wearing the right protection when cleaning up blood. Sometimes freak accidents do happen, what we are doing is very unsafe and with the help of OSHA we try to make it as safe as possible but it’s not always that easy. Hopefully Clique has decided to change how things are structured so no one will ever fall 45 feet again. I am glad to see that the person who had fallen is doing better and that she is recovering quickly.

nick waddington said...

This is one of those articles that is just hard to read because of my love for theater, because on the one hand, if any company is partaking in any kind of misconduct, then i want to make sure they get fair legal action, but at the same time you want the company to get something out of this so they can prevent it from happening in the future. I consciously accept that theater is an incredibly dangerous job, and that the jobs we do on a day to day basis are risky. just last semester we were put in a dangerous situation because of a mistake in rigging procedure. but that is why there are groups like OSHA, to help us do what we love safely, and provide the regulations that keep us from making an already dangerous industry more hazardous. Hopefully Cirque will indeed learn something from this, i hope they will take further steps in the future to prevent something so horrible from happening again.

Ali Whyte said...

I completely agree with Evan in that it's hard to not have a solid answer as to who is at fault, and struggling with who should have to pay for the accident that occurred. I would like to say, however, that I did not know OSHA had rules and regulations about blood clean up, but I am very glad that they do. Not many people think about the many dangers that blood contamination can have, both to surrounding equipment and surfaces as well as people. Exposure to blood, especially outside of a hospital where dangerous factors might be known and can be dealt with accordingly, can pose serious risks to those handling it. That said, I am very glad to hear that the performer is recovering quickly and that the organizations seems to have a vested interest in reviewing this report so that nothing like this ever happens to anyone else again.

John Yoerger said...

I am surprised OSHA didn't fine them anyways just to collect the money. I certainly wouldn't have a problem with writing them a citation just for the hell of it. I would be a terrible law enforcement officer. I think the entire problem with the original story surrounding this is that they blamed the performer. But honestly, when it comes to safety, I think it is rarely the performer's fault. And even if it is, why? Did they knowingly choose to endanger themselves? Then you've got an even bigger problem on your hands. So just in terms of needing to find a solution, I think it is important for the company to say "okay, we did this" and "now what can we do to make it even safer" -- Do they need more warnings? More stickers? More light? More people watching each performer? What they can they ultimately do to make extra ridiculous over redundancy to ensure the safety of all participants?