Nevada OSHA is investigating the death of Cirque du Soleil performer Sarah Guillot-Guyard, who fell and died Saturday, June 29, during a performance of “KÀ” in Las Vegas. OSHA’s investigation could take up to six months to complete. The Clark County coroner’s office in Nevada has determined that Guillot-Guyard died from multiple blunt force trauma after falling approximately 90 feet.
Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberté said in a statement that Cirque officials are working with authorities investigating the accident and have offered their full cooperation. “I am heartbroken. I wish to extend my sincerest sympathies to the family. We are all completely devastated,” Laliberté said. “We are reminded with great humility and respect how extraordinary our artists are each and every night. Our focus now is to support each other as a family.”
All performances of “KÀ” have been canceled until further notice.
An article about theatrical fall protection and strategies for protecting performers was recently published in The Synergist®. The article was written by Monona Rossol, a theater and arts safety expert, and appeared in the May 2013 issue of the magazine. Rossol summarizes recent high-profile incidents in theatrical productions and discusses current rules, standards, and best practices for protecting performers from fall hazards. The article is available on the AIHA® website.
Rossol was also interviewed about theatrical fall protection for AIHA’s podcast, Safe and Sound. The audio is available as an mp3 file.