Safety & HCM Post

Notre Dame University Fined in Student’s Death

Notre Dame University in Indiana has been fined $77,500 in connection to the death of a 20-year-old student in October 2010.

Declan Sullivan of Long Grove, IL, was killed when the hydraulic lift from which he was filming a football practice toppled in high winds. One hour before his death, Sullivan had tweeted about his trepidation at having to be up on a scissor lift in such high winds.

The lift he was using was designed to be used at maximum wind speeds of 28 miles (45 kilometers) per hour. However, the wind was gusting at more than 50 miles (80 kilometers) per hour that day.

The Indiana Department of Labor says the university failed to maintain safe working conditions and did not heed wind warnings from the National Weather Service.

The university was also cited for failure to regularly inspect and service the scissor lift and failure to have an operator’s manual on the lift. Since Sullivan’s death, it has stopped allowing the practice of using hydraulic lifts for filming football practices.

Bongarde Editorial

Bongarde Editorial

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