OSHA shields SeaWorld safety data

SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau was killed in 2010 when the 6-ton killer whale Tilikum pulled her into a pool.

Magnolia Pictures

SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau was killed in 2010 when the 6-ton killer whale Tilikum pulled her into a pool.

ORLANDO — A federal agency is declining to release SeaWorld’s new safety protocols for trainer interactions with killer whales despite a judge’s ruling that they are not trade secrets.

The Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission will not make public the SeaWorld safety protocols almost a month after a deadline passed for their public release.


The Associated Press on Monday filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the agency seeking the protocols. They explain the safety measures that SeaWorld trainers are now taking when interacting with killer whales following the death of trainer Dawn Brancheau. She was killed in February 2010 when a 6-ton killer whale named Tilikum pulled her into a pool.

Agency officials said they worry that they could be held criminally liable for releasing trade secrets. Under federal law, a federal government worker or contractor could face up to a year in prison for unlawfully disclosing trade secrets.

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‘‘A few of the lawyers here were concerned about whether the agency could potentially be held liable for releasing the protocols,’’ agency spokesman Melik Ahmir-Abdul said in an e-mail.

Associated Press

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