Broadway’s Shubert Organization Cited By Federal Regulators For Safety Violations In Stagehand’s Fatal Accident

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Broadway’s Shubert Organization with four safety violations in the accidental falling death of a stagehand at the Winter Garden Theater last November.

The violations in the death of stagehand Peter Wright, 54, are categorized by OSHA as “serious,” though not “willful” or “repeat.” Fines totaling $45,642 have been proposed.

Wright fell 50 feet to his death from a ladder on the fly floor above the stage on Nov. 12, 2020, while performing what was described as routine maintenance of the venue. At the time, the theater’s most recent occupant, the musical Beetlejuice, had already vacated the theater, and the new tenant – The Music Man starring Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster – had not yet moved in. (The upcoming revival begins performances Dec. 20.)

As first reported today by The New York Times, OSHA issued the four citations on May 11. According to U.S. Department of Labor website, the citations mostly involve the use or misuse of a ladder, including the use of a ladder that may have been coated with a material that might obscure structural defects. The citations also suggest that the ladder was not used for its designed purpose or secured on a stable or level surface. Another citation involves employer training regarding proper use of the ladder.

The Shubert Organization has not commented on the findings pending a meeting with the federal regulators to discuss the citations and the fines.

Following his death, Wright was remembered by friend and coworker Dylan Foley as a “legendary flyman” and mechanic with “a dry wit, an unstoppable work ethic and a trademarked grin.” In a Facebook post, Foley, a stagehand who worked with Wright on Broadway’s The Jersey Boys, said the “brothers and sisters of Local #1 IATSE suffered a horrible tragedy” with the death, and recalled his friend as “one of four stagehand brothers who were known for their great work in the Local and all were legendary mechanics.”


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