IATSE, State Settle Penalty

The stagehands union that was fined $11,500 after seven people died in the 2011 stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair has reached a settlement with the state that absolves it of the penalty.

IATSE Local 30 must implement a safety training program as part of the agreement with Indiana’s deputy labor commissioner.

Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration levied the fine in February 2012 after finding three serious violations and a non-serious violation in connection with the accident.

IATSE appealed the agency’s order, which found the union, and not the Indiana State Fair Commission, was the employer of stagehands working on the stage that toppled in high winds.

One stagehand, Nathan Byrd, died in the accident.

The agreement between IOSHA and the union states that neither party “concedes its position” on the safety order but that they agree to “amicably resolve their differences.”

Under the settlement, IATSE must work with the state’s labor department to add fall protection and hazard identification training for current members, which must be completed by March 15.

The union must also add that training to its apprenticeship program, with each new union member required to complete the safety course.

“We want to ensure that everybody’s trained and all the workplaces are safe, IATSE Local 30 business manager John Baldwin said. “It will help workers recognize hazards and make them able to look at things and see if there is a potential hazard that needs to be corrected.”

Indiana Labor Commissioner Sean Keefer said the agreement “creates a safer and more protected workplace for Indiana workers in the theater and stage business.”