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Friday, November 8, 2013

At US’s favorite water park, 20 year old fatally crushed in wave machine, his fifth week on the job

Today's blog is shared from the pump handle

“They sure kept that quiet.”
My neighbors had that reaction when I told them about the 20-year old worker who was killed on-the-job at one of the Schlitterbahn water parks. This particular amusement-park company has four large water resorts in Texas and Kansas. My neighbors frequent the one in New Braunfels, TX, along with 900,000 other annual visitors, during central Texas’ hot spring and summer months. I knew they’d want to know this story.
In March 2013, Nicolas “Nico” Benavides, 20, had been hired as a lifeguard, and had only been working a few weeks at the Schlitterbahn on South Padre Island. Benavides and another worker were doing maintenance on the guts of a wave pool. News accounts report that an overhead mechanical door
“slammed down, hitting Benavides in the head, leaving him and the other worker pinned beneath it.”
The young man’s family kept him on life support for several days until his organs could be donated.
Schlitterbahn issued a statement saying, in part,
“Nico Benavides, who was injured during a March 6 maintenance accident has died.  …The safety of our employees and guests is of paramount importance to us.” [emphasis added]
This was no accident. An accident is an event that cannot be foreseen, or occurs by chance. Nico Benavides’ death was neither.
OSHA’s investigation of the incident revealed that Schlitterbahn management did not have a lock-out/tag-out program. This is a...
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