Dec 102007

The federal government is spending your tax dollars to try to protect dancing Pandas from falling off the stage according to the Atlanta Journal Contstitution

The federal Occupational Safety & Health Administration is investigating the Atlanta Ballet after a 17-year-old dancer fell off the stage during Sunday’s matinee of “The Nutcracker” at the Fox Theatre.

Leah Boresow, a high school senior from Alpharetta, was wearing a panda costume when she fell about 12 feet into the empty orchestra pit, sustaining serious injuries. She remains in critical but stable condition at the Atlanta Medical Center, where she is recovering after spinal surgery Wednesday, the Atlanta Ballet said in a statement released Friday.

OSHA sent an inspector to the Fox on Thursday and again on Friday, said Andre Richards, director of OSHA’s Atlanta West Area Office.

“Anytime we see a high-profile situation such as that normally what we do is initiate an inspection,” he said. “We’re looking at hazards, number one. One thing we’re going to be looking at is fall protection. We’ll do an assessment to see what sort of safety programs they have. We probably will take a look at the costume to see what level of vision that person had.”

He said it could be another week or two before the inspector’s report would be available, and whether any citations would be issued.

Of course, I don’t think it’s a good idea to have dancing pandas falling off the stage in front of a packed house of children looking to get their Nutcracker fix, but did the government really need to steal the fruits of my labor in order to protect this girl? Is she really so cowed (pandaed?) by the director that she can’t stand up for herself and demand a costume with better visibilty or some type of warning along the edge of the stage? The problem here isn’t that business owners are forcing employees to do dangerous wor. Rather the problem is that the workers are so devoid of a sense of personal responsibility that they always seek someone to threaten violence on their employers instead of simply asking for (or demanding) a safer workplace.

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