Georgia workers may be interested in a story out of Rhode Island concerning a workplace accident at the circus. Eight acrobats are currently hospitalized after their suspension rig snapped and plummeted to the ground during a May 4 performance.
At the Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus in Providence, several acrobats were suspended from a chandelier-like apparatus. The single support reportedly snapped during their act and caused the performers to fall nearly 40 feet. According to reports, two of the acrobats were in critical condition. Another two were seriously injured, while the remaining acrobats are said to be doing well. They were all treated for their injuries at the Rhode Island Hospital.
A fire department official says that while the equipment was capable of handling more weight than it was supporting, the movement of the performers may have contributed to the failure. The five-inch long carabiner could reportedly support up to 10,000 pounds. The owners of the circus, Feld Entertainment, have launched an investigation into the circumstances of the accident. Additionally, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has begun to look into any potential safety violations. Meanwhile, the circus has continued operation and has replaced each of the remaining clamps still in use.
If the acrobats’ work-related injuries were caused by the company’s failure to take proper safety precautions, the circus may be liable in a negligence action. An employer that fails to properly protect its workers may be at fault for accidents or faulty equipment. In cases similar to this, an attorney may be able to help by examining the evidence and filing a lawsuit.
Source: Reuters , “Failed clamp caused Rhode Island circus acrobats’ plunge: officials“, Ross Kerber, May 05, 2014