Report: State cites University

The Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced today that the University of Notre Dame broke safety rules in the incident that led to the death of junior Declan Sullivan last October.

IOSHA levied fines totaling $77,500 for six violations found during its investigation into Sullivan's death. Sullivan was in a hydraulic scissor lift videotaping football practice in the afternoon of Oct. 27 when the lift fell over in high winds.

IOSHA cited Notre Dame with the most serious safety violation allowable under State law.

The agency issued that "knowing violation" along with a $55,000 fine because, according to the report, the University did not train its videographers to use the lifts, but still directed them for use at a time when the National Weather Service had issued a wind advisory with sustained winds exceeding the lift manufacturer's specifications and warnings.

The report included that "the university knowingly exposed its employees to unsafe conditions."

The agency also cited Notre Dame with five "serious violations" that carry a total of $22,500 in fines, including one issued to the University for not properly training student employees to operate the scissor lifts used during football practices.

Remaining serious violations were specific to the lift in question.

The report stated:

  • The lift hadn't been inspected in more than a year
  • Hadn't been serviced as required by the operator's manual
  • That the operator's manual was not stored in a weather-proof box on the lift, and some of the warning labels were missing, faded, or weathered.

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