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As Cirque du Soleil comes to North Carolina, safety issues linger

Cirque du Soleil is internationally renowned for producing spell-binding shows. However, the performing troupe is currently receiving headlines for something much more serious. In June, a stage performer fell 50 feet to her death during a show. While Cirque du Soleil is performing in North Carolina this month, there is particular attention being paid to workplace safety measures being taken for the performers.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration launched an investigation immediately after the fatal accident. As reports indicate that performers are still in shock over the work-related death, they are likely eagerly awaiting the results of the investigation so they can understand what went wrong.

Over Cirque du Soleil's history, there have been accidents, but none have been fatal until recently. As they make preparations for upcoming shows, they are spending hours checking and double-checking equipment.

Even if it's determined that Cirque du Soleil did everything possible in terms of safety, the late performer's survivors may still be entitled to workers' compensation benefits. This can help them through the difficult days and weeks ahead.

On the other hand, the OSHA inquiry could uncover some sort of negligence that contributed to the accident. In major stage productions, a variety of services might be contracted out to third parties. If it's determined that another company's lack of caution or care contributed to the workplace accident, then the woman's survivors may be able to pursue a third-party claim.

As the performers spend time in North Carolina, the hope is that they continue to dazzle audiences, rather than having to worry about their own safety.

Source: WRAL News, "Cirque du Soleil safety precautions take center stage," Leyla Santiago, July 10, 2013

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