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Circus fined for trick that left performers injured on the job

The circus in general thrives on the idea or illusion of death-defying acts. Even though the circus and entertainment industry in California and elsewhere is highly regulated to ensure safety of performers, tricks or stunts can go wrong and leave performers injured on the job. The world famous Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus has been cited for an accident that made national headlines after eight acrobats were seriously injured.

The performers were hanging in the air by their hair in the shape of a chandelier last spring when a clip snapped. All of the performers fell to the ground and hit a worker who was below them. The majority of the performers were seriously injured and needed several surgeries. Some were still not able to walk.

OSHA investigated the incident and found there was a violation in how the circus attached two rings instead of one, per the instructions of the manufacturer. The circus has disputed the findings. Despite the disagreement, OSHA has proposed a fine of $7,000. The act that was affected by the accident has not been included in the circus since the incident.

Performers in this industry in California and all over adhere to strict safety standards for their own sake and the sake of the audience also. When an accident occurs and someone is injured on the job, an investigation may pinpoint the cause and help that industry work to prevent another accident. Injured workers in the entertainment industry, including the circus, are fully entitled to gain an understanding of the rights and benefits that are applicable to their workplace injury.

Source: sfchronicle.com, "Circus cited for hair-hanging stunt that injured 9", Michelle R. Smith, Nov. 4, 2014

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