Squaw Valley has appealed two citations that have stemmed from the January 24th death of ski patroller Joe Zuiche. Both of the accidents are non-incident related but were discovered during the investigation of Zuiche’s death. Cal-Osha was unable to make any accident related citations because of a lack of evidence and witnesses for the incident.
“Squaw Valley was issued two citations classified as serious for failure to implement effective procedures for protecting against workplace hazards associated with hang cord entanglement during blasting operations and failure to ensure that all crew members maintained visual contact or awareness of all crew members at all times during avalanche control activities,”– Cal-Osha Spokesperson
Squaw received an $11,250 fine for “failing to correct an identified unsafe working condition by implementing a procedure for protection against the workplace hazards associated with hang cord entanglement during hang cord blasting operations”. They were also fined an additional $9,000 for “failing to ensure that all crew members maintained visual contact or awareness of physical location of crew members at all times during avalanche control activities”. Squaw appealed both citations on August 8th. The appeal could take several months
“The decision to file appeals was to continue the investigation so we can determine the actual cause”– Pat McAleer, Employment Lawyer for Squaw Valley
Most of these cases never go to trial and are instead resolved through negotiations or dismissals.