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Tim Zimmermann

Since administrative law judge Ken Welsch last May upheld OSHA’s citations against SeaWorld’s killer whale practices (full ruling is here), SeaWorld has been under obligation to “abate” the hazards OSHA identified: namely the danger of working in close proximity to killer whales.

In essence, OSHA’s citations combined and Welsch’s ruling (which applies to shows), mean that SeaWorld cannot have trainers swimming with the killer whales (aka waterwork), and even when the trainers are out on the pool decks they are supposed to maintain a minimum separation or have some sort of barrier between them and the killer whales.

SeaWorld has decided to take its appeal of the OSHA citations to the federal courts, but in the meantime SeaWorld has been negotiating with OSHA over when and how it must come into compliance with the citations. Since Judge Welsch’s order went into effect, SeaWorld has been asking for…

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