Monday, January 31, 2011

Las Vegas Review-Journal investigates unresolved death of stagehand

We all know that it takes time for incident reports to be processed and published, however, this has come to a frustrating end for the mother of stagehand and UNLV student Vicente Rodriguez after he died on May 20, 2009.  Rodriguez was killed when he fell about 40 feet from the attic structure of the Hollywood Theatre in the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas.

Due to state regulations and a mis-handled investigation, the worker's family probably will not receive any compensation, or even apologetic acknowledgement, for the preventable death.  In a very revealing video interview and well-researched article by Las Vegas Review-Journal writer Joan Whitely, it becomes painfully obvious that the deck is stacked against workers in Nevada when it comes to safety and the enforcement of safety regulations.  The article and video can be found here:

The article also includes a link to a a well-presented graphic that depicts the scenario that lead to the fatal fall.  The graphic can be downloaded as a PDF.  Take this opportunity to share this information with your staff, students, and co-workers so that they might all learn how this tragedy occurred and don't place ourselves or others in this type of situation.

Fall protection gear only works if the users have been properly trained in the application of the equipment.


  1. Thanks for posting this, I wasn't aware of this, keep up the great work!

  2. Please re-read the newspaper article and review the graphic. The problem was that any worker had to STAND on a HANDRAIL in order to REACH the clip-in point before their fall protection harness came into play.

  3. The problem also stems from an unqualified MGM supervisor taking a novice ground-rigger to the apex of the theatre; and that superior breaking every OSHA rule and regulation by admitting that he, himself, was not wearing a harness, and jumped the 33" of false ceiling to land on the 9" wooden plank masquerading as a catwalk. The question remains, how do these incompetant people get a job, and with consequences that led to somebody's death, remain on the job the very next day?