Friday, July 1, 2011

DEVELOPING: Notre Dame Reaches Agreement In Sullivan Case

((HT: WSBT-TV South Bend))

The University of Notre Dame has agreed to pay $42,000 to settle a complaint that it committed six safety violations when Declan Sullivan died when the hydraulic lift he was filming a football practice from blew over in a 53 mph wind gust.

The university also agreed to make a substantial contribution to a memorial for Sullivan 90 days after the agreement is finalized...

The settlement also requires Notre Dame to launch a nationwide education program directed at other schools about the hazards of the outdoor use of scissor lifts.

The Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration ((IOSHA)) originally said it was fining Notre Dame $77,500. The settlement reduces a "knowing" violation to a "serious" violation.

Here's the statement from the Sullivan family...

“The family is satisfied with this morning's settlement between IOSHA and Notre Dame," said Mike Miley, the Sullivan family spokesman. "We also look forward to seeing the launch of the education campaign and expect it will provide a safer work environment for institutions around the country. There can be no better way to remember Declan than to help others avoid future tragedies.”

And the statement from Notre Dame from Dennis Brown, assistant vice president and university spokesman...

"Notre Dame appreciates the professionalism that IOSHA officials have demonstrated throughout this process and is pleased to have reached agreement with them on the safety orders.

"What remains ever-present throughout this process is the reality of the loss experienced by Declan Sullivan’s family and friends, all of whom remain in the thoughts and prayers of the Notre Dame community.

"Notre Dame is committed to doing all we can to ensure that a tragedy like this never happens again and is working with IOSHA and others on a national education initiative on aerial-lift safety in regard to setup, training and weather-related risks.

"We felt it was important to extend the conversation with IOSHA to obtain the highest level of accuracy in its final report. At its essence, we felt that the lack of available national standards on wind-related safety procedures made it impossible to put anyone in harm’s way on a “knowing” basis, as was explained in our own investigation report.

"Any detail related to contributions by Notre Dame remain a private matter between the Sullivan family and the University."

Here's the original report on the Sullivan tragedy, thanks to our friends at WSBT-TV

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