Blog Entry

Notre Dame fined $77,500 in videographer tragedy

Posted on: March 15, 2011 10:21 am
Posted by Chip Patterson

When Notre Dame starts spring practice, they will be giving a first-run to some brand new videotaping technology.  The new remote-controlled videography system was put into place in South Bend as a result of the terrible tragedy that led to the death of Declan Sullivan.  Sullivan was killed when the hydraulic scissor lift where he was taping collapsed during a storm.  

The Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration (IOSHA) has fined Notre Dame a total of $77,500 for six different violations that resulted in the tragedy, according to Stacy St. Clair of the Chicago Tribune.  The violations add up like this: 

• Knowingly exposing its employees to unsafe conditions by directing its untrained student videographers to use the scissor lift during a period of time when the National Weather Service issued an active wind advisory with sustained winds and guests in excess of the manufactured specifications and warnings. $55,000 fine.
• Not properly training the student employees in the operation and use of scissor lifts. $5,000 fine.
• Not doing annual, monthly or weekly inspections on the scissor lift for more than a year. $5,000 fine.
• Not having a scissor lift service as required by the maintenance schedule in the operator’s manual. $5,000 fine.
• Not having an operator’s manual kept in a weather-proof box. $5,000 fine.
• Missing some warning labels and having some labels that were weathered and faded. $2,500 fine.

As mentioned above, Notre Dame has already taken action to eliminate the lifts that caused the tragedy.  Sullivan's family expressed their appreciation for the efforts made by the school, and some have even suggested that this could make way for even more advancements in college football videography.  

But chances are that most programs will not have the resources to install a state-of-the-art video system in the near future.  So the focus of the tragedy returns to the prevention of such accidents by keeping the lifts properly maintained and educating the users on the precautions and regulations.  Notre Dame strayed away from such practices, and now it will cost them.  

Since: Nov 17, 2007
Posted on: April 20, 2011 4:30 pm

Notre Dame fined $77,500 in videographer tragedy

We now know the value of a college student's life. $77K, which is about 4 years' tuition (in-state).

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