Notre Dame is slapped with $77,500 in fines following the state of Indiana’s investigation into the death of student football videographer Declan Sullivan. This morning, Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Association officials released their findings into the death of Sullivan, who died Oct. 27, 2010 after the scissor lift he was standing atop collapsed under historically high winds.
Wind gusts got up into the 5os that day, and wind advisories were all over the Midwest.
$55,000 of the total is for a “knowing violation”- directing an untrained student to use the scissor lift when the weather service had issued a warning. These are quite rare.
“We’ve issued a knowing citation, which indicates the most serious safety violation,” said Department of Labor Commissioner Lori Torres during a morning news briefing at the Statehouse in Indianapolis. “The evidence overwhelmingly demonstrated that the university made a decision to utilize its scissor lifts in known adverse weather conditions.”
There are also five lesser violations:
- A student not properly trained
- Not inspecting the scissor lift for over a year
- No preventative maintenance on the lift
- No operator manual on the lift
- The lift’s warning labels being weathered and faded
Statements from ND officials on the findings.
Last week, ND announced the installation of a new remote video taping system. To keep future videographers out of harm’s way.
John Affleck-Graves, executive vice president and leader of the Notre Dame investigation of the accident: “The IOSHA findings are very helpful as we begin to conclude our own comprehensive investigation. As part of the agency’s review process, we will meet with officials in the next 15 days. We expect that our report will include information gathered through the IOSHA investigation as we focus on all factors that contributed to the accident, including the series of decisions made on that day. We have committed to making a report of our investigation public and will do so once it is complete and we have finalized our review with IOSHA, which we expect to be in four to six weeks.”
Jack Swarbrick, director of athletics: “I know John Affleck-Graves is leading a wide-ranging university investigation that will incorporate the findings from IOSHA. But nothing can change the tragic reality of what occurred last October, and all of us in Irish athletics continue to grieve with the Sullivans and keep them in our prayers.”
Brian Kelly, head football coach: “Declan was a wonderful member of our football family and is missed to this day. We all continue to both grieve and keep his family and friends in our thoughts and prayers. I’m sure the university will use the findings from the state to enhance the investigation into this tragedy.”
ND has fifteen days to pay the fines. The University is also conducting an internal investigation into this matter.