Posted On: July 16, 2009 by Steven J. Malman

Fatal Work Accident: Walt Disney World Monorail Accident that Killed Worker May Have Been Caused by Human Error

A fatal work accident involving two monorail trains at Walt Disney World may have been caused by human error. According to, attributing the Orlando Sentinel, a Disney employee has told investigators that he may have mistakenly radioed that he had already activated a track switch.

Monorail operator Austin Wuennenberg died over the July 4th weekend when two trains on the monorail crashed into each other. Eight people were on board at the time of the amusement park accident. Another employee was taken to a hospital for a medical check.

According to the National Transportation Safety Board, there were no mechanical errors discovered on the track or the trains. Investigators from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are also looking into the deadly incident. OSHA has six months to present a report to the public.

Possible violations Disney could face:
1) Willful (Up to $70,000 fine)
2) Repeat violations (Up to $70,000 fine)
3) Serious (Up to $7,000 fine)
4) Other than serious (Up to $7,000 fine)

OSHA is also looking into another work accident at another amusement park. This incident occurred on July 1 at Universal Orlando's Islands of Adventure theme park right before the park opened. A worker sustained serious injuries when he was struck by a moving vehicle on the Dueling Dragons roller coaster.

OSHA spokesperson Michael Wald says that Universal did not contact them about the work accident, but that they heard about it via a “referral.” Universal is only required to report work accidents to OSHA if there is a death or at least three workers end up with injuries serious enough to warrant hospitalization.

Workers injured on the job or the families of workers killed in Chicago work accidents are likely entitled to Illinois workers’ compensation benefits.

Disney Monorail Accident Was Human Error, Report Says, FoxNews, July 16, 2009

OSHA investigates accident at Universal park, Miami Herald, July 14, 2009

OSHA probes accident that hurt employee, Orlando Sentinel, July 15, 2009

NTSB to probe crash of Disney monorail, Chicago Tribune, July 7, 2009

Related Web Resource:
Occupational Safety and Health Administration

In DuPage County, Will County, Lake County, or Cook County, contact Chicago workers’ compensation lawyer Steve Malman today.

Bookmark and Share

Watch Our Videos

Recent Entries