Broadway Stagehand

Broadway Stagehand's Fatal Fall Leads to OSHA Citation

Federal regulators cited the Broadway theater owner of the Shubert Organization for the death of an employee as well as four safety violations.

The Shubert Organization has been cited by federal regulators for four serious workplace safety violations and a proposed fine of $45,642 in connection to the death of an employee who fell from a ladder while working at the Winter Garden Theater last fall, according to an article.

OSHA issued the citations on May 11, six months after Peter Wright, a 54-year-old stagehand, fell nearly 50 feet from a platform while working on maintenance in the theater. According to its review, OSHA issued these serious citations when lapses led to hazards carrying a “substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result.” In the case, it was not found that the violations were willful, in which an employer “intentionally and knowingly” violates the law.

The Shubert organization set up a meeting to discuss the citations and penalties, according to James C. Lally, a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Labor. If they do not, the company will be obligated to pay the maximum amount. A spokesman for the Shubert Organization declined a request for comment, citing the ongoing investigation.

The violations issued included having a wooden ladder coated with material that could hide structural defects and two instances of a ladder used for a purpose it wasn’t designed for.

Bill Evans, a spokesman for the Shubert Organization, said at the time of Mr. Wright’s death that most stagehands had not been working at the organization’s other theaters during the pandemic shutdown, only one at the Winter Garden Theater.

“We mourn the loss of our valued colleague,” he said in a statement. “Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family during this difficult time.”

About the Author

Shereen Hashem is the Associate Content Editor for Occupational Health & Safety magazine.

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