There are so many reasons why San Diego is a popular destination for visitors from around the globe: beaches, sunshine, and tourist attractions – including a wide variety of theme parks. From animal encounters at SeaWorld, to water slides at Aquatica, to thrill rides at LEGOLAND, there are plenty of opportunities for family fun and adventure. And it wouldn’t be possible without the hard work of theme park employees.
While working in an amusement park can be fun, it’s also risky. Rides, equipment, and crowds create hazardous situations, especially if owners don’t adhere to safety regulations. Whether you’re a seasonal or long-term employee, if you’ve been injured on the job at an amusement park, it’s important to understand your rights – and your options to help compensate for your losses.
THEME PARKS HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY TO KEEP EMPLOYEES SAFE
Like all California employers, theme park owners are required to create a secure working environment, free of health and safety hazards. This includes providing employees with structures such as:
INJURY AND ILLNESS PREVENTION PROGRAM (IIPP)
According to the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), an IIPP is a written workplace safety program defined by employers, covering basic elements such as compliance, communication, and hazard assessment and correction.
LOCKOUT / TAGOUT PROCEDURES
Employees who have to operate or maintain machinery, such as amusement park rides, must follow these rules to prevent serious injuries. Lockout / Tagout procedures at theme parks must comply with OSHA standards.
TRAINING AND INSTRUCTION
To perform your job safely and effectively, your employer must give you all necessary training and instruction on how to operate rides, engage safety features, and stay clear of potentially hazardous situations.
Negligence with regard to inspection, maintenance, and employee training can lead to accidents resulting in major injuries, or even death. To avoid catastrophe, theme parks are governed by regulations set forth by OSHA’s specialized Amusement Ride and Tramway Unit.
COMMON CAUSES OF THEME PARK WORK INJURIES
Theme park workers are vulnerable to many types of injuries, commonly caused by situations such as:
Many thrill rides are inherently dangerous, but defective parts, mechanical failures, and improper safety protocols can cause injuries to mechanics, operators, and inspectors.
SLIP AND FALLS
Tripping hazards abound in crowded amusement parks, and in water parks, puddles and slippery surfaces can lead to broken bones or traumatic head injuries.
When a new ride is built or an old ride is demolished, the construction zone contains hazards such as heavy equipment, falling objects, and dangerous vehicles.
Many theme parks feature costume characters or dance acts, putting performers at risk of injuries, including sprains, strains, and heatstroke.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU’VE SUFFERED AN AMUSEMENT PARK WORK INJURY
If you’re an amusement park worker who’s been injured on the job, you’re entitled to compensation for medical care and lost wages related to your accident. To ensure you receive the maximum benefit, there are a few key steps you should follow:
SEE A DOCTOR
Get medical treatment as soon as possible. In an emergency, call 911 or go to the hospital right away.
REPORT THE INCIDENT TO YOUR EMPLOYER
Let your direct supervisor know all the details of your injury. At this time, you may be required to file an incident report.
Collect as much information as possible about the circumstances surrounding the injury, including photographs, videos, and witness accounts.
TALK TO A WORKERS’ COMP ATTORNEY
A skilled, experienced attorney will guide you through the workers’ compensation process and explore options for additional claims due to employer negligence.
Workers’ Comp for Theme Park Workers
For over 45 years, the attorneys at The Law Office of Matthew Russell have been representing injured workers in San Diego County, including theme park employees and other members of the service and hospitality industry. We understand how stressful and frustrating it is to be off your feet and out of work, and we will do everything in our power to ensure you recoup the financial losses you suffered as a result of your injury.
To find out how we can help you with your workers’ compensation claim and you’re located in San Diego County, give us a call today at (619) 544-1506.