OSHA fines circus over injury at ‘O’ in Vegas


Published on: December 3, 2023 at 10:39 pm.

Last updated on: December 3, 2023, 10:42 pm.

Cirque du Soleil has been cited for two “serious” violations by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), according to the Daily Mail. Las Vegas Journal Review. The violations, which come with fines totaling more than $30,000, stem from an OSHA investigation into a near-fatal injury she suffered during her Las Vegas show, “O,” last summer.

A diver in the “O” show, which has been held at the Bellagio in Las Vegas since 1998, suffered a life-threatening injury after attempting to update a stunt added to the show just two weeks ago. (picture: Los Angeles Times)

On June 28, circus performer Kyle Mitrione, 35, broke his neck while trying to jump backwards from a barge placed on a rising stage that instead ended with a hard slam on the stage. The near-tragedy – which stunned the audience at the Bellagio’s 9:30pm show – occurred during an update to a long-running sequence that had been introduced just two weeks earlier.

The violation related to Mitrione’s injury was for failing to provide enough audio or visual cues so the acrobats knew it was safe to dive into shallow water, according to the commission. RJ.

OSHA’s second citation was to require all of its performers to wear harnesses during high dive and trapeze movements. Although this is unrelated to Mitrione’s injury, it could have serious implications for the future operation of Cirque shows sector-wide.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, although belting stuntmen may seem like a safer move, it exposes employees to “serious physical injuries such as damage to internal organs and suffocation.”

Cirque du Soleil — which grosses $120 million-$140 million annually — will have to pay $15,625 for each of the two violations, the maximum OSHA fine for an on-site work violation.

Kyle Mitrione, the injured circus performer, was a champion swimmer at Purdue University. (Image: LinkedIn)

Diver down

Five hours of emergency surgery were needed to repair Mitrione’s fractured spine after he was taken by stretcher from the Bellagio stage to a local hospital, according to multiple reports.

Mitrione – a former Purdue University diving champion and member of the very exciting Red Bull Cliff Diving team – is said to be gradually improving with rehabilitation. However, he has not yet regained enough strength in his legs to return to the “O”.

On Facebook, Mitrione thanked his followers for their well wishes a week after the accident.

“Please know that the love I feel is what keeps me going,” he wrote. “It’s an indescribable feeling of hope and light. You pulled me out of a darkness I never knew existed. I can’t thank everyone enough, for every offer of help, every gesture, every thought, prayer, wish, dream… I felt it all.”

Mitrione’s LinkedIn profile shows he has worked another job — as a marketing assistant for a technology company in Los Angeles — since January 2022.

A second performer, who was not identified by OSHA, suffered abrasions to his torso during the same incident, when he “scratched” the face of the stage, according to documents obtained by OSHA. RJ.

“Without a doubt, the health, safety and well-being of our artists, crew and management team is of the utmost importance to our culture and remains the highest priority,” Circus spokeswoman Anne Palade said in a statement. RJ. “We have proven that our health and safety standards are comprehensive in our unique industry and we will continue to focus vigilantly on our commitment to a healthy and safe work environment for all.”

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