SeaWorld agrees to stricter orca-trainer safety guidelines

FILE - In this Nov. 30, 2006, file photo, people watch through the glass as a killer whale passes by while swimming in a display tank at SeaWorld in San Diego. SeaWorld marine park in San Diego will challenge a state commission ruling than banned the company from breeding its captive killer whales. The announcement on Thursday, Oct. 15, comes a week after the California Coastal Commission endorsed a $100 million expansion of the tanks SeaWorld uses to hold orcas in San Diego. (AP Photo/Chris Park, File)

SAN DIEGO (AP) — SeaWorld and California regulators have agreed on a proposed settlement over allegations that the park failed to train workers to safely interact with killer whales.

California Occupational Safety and Health spokeswoman Erika Monterroza told The Associated Press that the proposal has been submitted for approval by a judge and the agency’s appeals board.

If approved, it would dismiss four worker safety citations and related fines but require the park to adhere to strict guidelines on how whales and trainers interact.

The proposed agreement would ban surfing on, swimming under and standing on orcas.

The citations claimed the park didn’t keep employees aware of hazards involving the orcas. A park spokesman says SeaWorld supports the proposed guidelines.

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