Last September I wrote about a stripper who was denied workers comp after being wounded by gunfire in the "Boom Boom Room" of a South Carolina strip club where she was performing. That article generated much discussion on LinkedIn regarding job hazards strippers face and the safety equipment that they should be required to use in order to protect themselves. Suggestions ranged from non-slip steel toed boots to protective eyewear to Class A Hazmat suits.
Better add safety cages, straps and fall netting to the list.
A 22 year old stripper in Cleveland, OH is in critical condition this week after a freak lap dance accident. She apparently launched herself over a railing, falling head first to the floor 15 feet below. Talk about a killer finish.
According to the police report, “(The witness) stated that (the dancer) grabbed the rail, as he was facing away from the balcony, and she tried to complete some sort of jump/dance move, and accidentally went head first over the rail.”
Apparently OSHA is investigating. I'll bet. Probably take months of onsite analysis.
Clearly this is an industry that bears some scrutiny. It is obvious to me that these workers need to be better trained and better equipped to protect them from what is apparently very hazardous work. Perhaps the club where this young woman worked should have a "Don't fling yourself over the railing" policy in force. Certainly, in the event that no such policy exists, she should have been provided with adequate safety gear. Safety straps and fall netting should have been an absolute minimum protection. In the absence of that, a trampoline on the lower floor might not only have prevented injury, but could have actually enhanced the performance by enabling what could only have been a spectacular return.
This is a difficult topic. People do not like it when I address the seemlier side of workers' comp or general human behavior, particularly when it focuses on the actions and behavior of women. I can write about dumb or misguided things men do (like here, here, here, here or especially here), and no one seems to notice or care, but when the topic of the article is a woman, I apparently am, in the eyes of some, an evil, immature, misogynistic SOB. I recently wrote about a woman convicted of fraud after being caught on videotape running in high heels and performing a sex act on her boyfriend in a public park. Never mind that those acts were the very basis of her fraud conviction. Some people got very, very angry with me for daring to speak of that particular evil. It was almost like I was the criminal, and she some hapless victim.
Pretty damn silly if you ask me, but what do I know? I'm just an evil, immature, misogynistic SOB.
So here we are again, except this time we are not discussing a crime. We are talking about a woman injured on the job while servicing her skuzzy customer. We are talking about an employer who clearly has some culpability in the behavior and actions of their employees (unless of course, she is found to be an independent contractor and left to her own devices, as our unfortunate South Carolina dancer was).
At any rate, something clearly needs to be done. Better equipment and improved training are clearly called for in this industry. Drug testing might also be in order. I will continue to defy the critics and push hard for stripper safety. I'm not sure anyone will listen. In fact, I wouldn't bet a flying stripper on it.
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Robert Wilson is President & CEO of WorkersCompensation.com, and "From Bob's Cluttered Desk" comes his (often incoherent) thoughts, ramblings, observations and rants - often on workers' comp or employment issues, but occasionally not.
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