OSHA Fines Arizona Event Center for Worker’s Death

August 23, 2022

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently determined that the death of a worker at the Rawhide Western Town and Steakhouse, located in Chandler, Arizona, could have been prevented if his employer had followed required safety measures.

According to OSHA, in February 2022, the 30-year-old worker drove a cargo scooter into a nylon tow strap strung across what appeared to be an open gate. He was transported to a hospital, where he later died of his injuries.

Safety standards require that barricades and gate closures be clearly marked with reflective materials topped with vertical stripes along its entire length. However, OSHA inspectors found that Wild Horse Pass Development Center, operator of the Rawhide Western Town and Steakhouse, exposed workers to serious injuries from struck-by hazards, specifically by failing to ensure the gate’s arm and strap were adequately reflective.

OSHA further learned that the operator failed to erect appropriate signage alerting drivers to the road’s closure and detour. The company also neglected to train workers on the safe operation and use of cargo scooters.

As a result of its findings, OSHA charged Wild Horse Pass Development Center with two serious safety violations and proposed US$20,302 in penalties.

“A worker’s life was lost because Wild Horse Pass failed to follow federal safety requirements,” said OSHA Area Director T. Zachary Barnett. “Employers are legally obligated to ensure a safe and healthful workplace and train workers on the hazards they may face so that they can return home safely at the end of each workday.”