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OSHA Citation

OSHA Cites Wild Horse Pass Development Center Over Worker Death

A 30-year-old worker died of injuries suffered in incident at the Rawhide Western Town and Steakhouse at the Gila River Indian Community.   August 29, 2022


By Dan Hounsell, Senior Editor 


The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Wild Horse Pass Development Center near Chandler, Arizona, for two serious safety violations and proposed $20,302, in penalties. A 30-year-old worker died of injuries suffered in incident at the Rawhide Western Town and Steakhouse at the Gila River Indian Community. A federal investigation determined the fatality could have been prevented if the employer had implemented required safety measures. 

Rawhide Western Town Inc. is an event management provider that operates Rawhide Western Town and Event Center. Part of the Wild Horse Pass Development Authority, the center includes more than 18 venues including a western town, event center and multi-use soccer stadium. The facility hosts competitions, concerts, festivals and other special events. 

OSHA determined that on Feb. 25, 2022, the worker was driving a cargo-scooter through what appeared to be an open gate and sustained severe injuries when they ran into a nylon tow strap strung across the opening. The worker was transported to an area hospital and later died. The strap was hung to try to keep the damaged gate closed. 

OSHA inspectors found that Wild Horse Pass Development Center, operator of the Rawhide Western Town and Steakhouse, exposed workers to serious injuries from struck-by hazards by failing to ensure the gate arm and strap were adequately reflective, and by failing to erect appropriate signage alerting drivers to the road closure and detour. Safety standards require that barricades and gate closures be clearly marked with reflective materials topped with vertical stripes along its entire length. OSHA also learned the company had not trained workers on the safe operation and use of cargo scooters. 

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