Failure to protect seasonal workers, primarily teenagers, from summer heat hazards at Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom in Allentown led to a citation and a proposed $7,000 fine for the amusement parks' operator, Cedar Fair L.P.
The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigated safety conditions at Dorney Park June 9, based on reports that a teenage worker suffered burns after collapsing near a kitchen fryer at a food stand.
"In summer temperatures, amusement park workers face an increased risk of heat-related illness and death," Jean Kulp, director of OSHA's Allentown Area Office, said in a statement.
Although no direct connection between the worker's collapse and heat was established, Cedar Fair was cited for a serious violation of the agency's "general duty" clause, which broadly requires employers to provide a safe working space. Cedar Park was fined an additional $2,000 for improper record-keeping.
"The threat of heat stress can be reduced significantly by establishing a heat-illness prevention program for indoor and outdoor workers," Kulp said in a statement.
"The program should include effective training; consistently available water and shaded breaks; a thorough review of heat illness incidents; and acclimatization."
Calls to Dorney Park's offices were unanswered.
The company has 15 days to comply, contest the citation, or request an informal meeting with OSHA to resolve issues.