Indiana OSHA has agreed to cut almost in half proposed fines to the University of Notre Dame in connection with the death of a student who was filming a football practice last fall. The university has agreed to take a number of steps as part of the settlement.
IOSHA had fined Notre Dame $77,500, five serious and one “knowing” (equivalent to a federal OSHA “willful” categorization) citations in connection with the death of 20-year-old Declan Sullivan.
Sullivan died after the scissor lift he was on toppled over in high winds. On that day, winds were gusting up to 45 miles per hour.
Notre Dame has now agreed to pay $42,000. IOSHA reduced the knowing fine to a serious citation. The knowing citation alone made up $55,000 of the original fine.
As part of the settlement, Notre Dame will also:
- launch, within six months, a nationwide education program for other colleges and schools about the hazards of outdoor use of scissor lifts
- make a substantial contribution, within three months, to the Declan Drumm Sullivan Memorial Fund
- designate a liaison between its athletic department and its risk management division to ensure adequate safety training for employees, and
- provide IOSHA with a list of other areas of the university where scissor lifts are in use and complete refresher training for all operators within three months.
Sullivan’s family says it’s satisfied with the agreement (PDF).
OSHA has issued a hazard alert on the dangers of using scissor lifts to film events.
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