UPDATED WITH MORE CASE SUMMARIES: Beginning January 1, the federal government will require a much more thorough reporting of injuries on film and TV productions. Up until now, only deaths, or injuries to three or more workers in an eight-hour period that require hospitalization, had to be reported. The new Occupational Safety & Health Administration requirements, however, mandate all accidents that result in trips to the hospital must be reported to the agency.
Unless there’s a death, or unless it’s sexy, or unless there’s a lawsuit, most film and TV injuries go unreported in the media. Many more go unreported to OSHA. According to the agency’s database, fewer than a dozen stunt- or special effects-related injuries have been reported in the last 10 years, and only a handful of other injuries — including falls on set and a few accidents involving props — have been reported, including the train crash that killed camera assistant Sarah Jones on location in rural Georgia in February. [We’ve compiled an annotated list of those reports below.]
“Ultimately, (the new rules) will produce a safer workplace,” said Lindsay Williams, a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Labor, which oversees OSHA. He told Deadline the film and TV industry is well known for “a lot of corner cutting” when it comes to reporting accidents, and that injured workers are often told “not to mention it and keep it off the record. It’s terrible that that sort of mentality exists.”
The new requirements will not affect productions shot in California, which already requires employers to report every injury that results in hospitalization. The same is true for 21 other states that, like California, have their own state OSHA regulations. But it will affect production hubs like Georgia, Louisiana, Texas and Florida, and 24 other states whose workplace safety is covered at the federal level.
Under the old reporting requirements, neither injury on the set of Selma last June in separate incidents in Georgia and Alabama had to be reported to OSHA. Under the new rules, both would have had to have been reported.
About the only time accidents on film and TV productions shot in Georgia and Louisiana are reported to OSHA is when a worker is killed. Other than that, producers rarely report accidents in either of the two booming production locales. An exhaustive search of OSHA’s database turned up no reports of film- and TV-related injuries reported in Louisiana, other than the death of a worker on GI Joe 2 in New Orleans three years ago. And in Georgia, only one or two accidents were reported there in the 10 years leading up to the death of Sarah Jones on the set of Midnight Rider.
Safety officials and workers in Georgia and Louisiana tell Deadline workers there are often encouraged not to file accident report, and that many injured workers comply for fear of being blacklisted.
Here are almost all of the OSHA case summaries of industry accidents over the past 10 years, based on Deadline research:
Sarah Jones Killed, 6 Others Injured, on Midnight Rider
Employer: Film Allman LLC, Georgia
OSHA fined the employer $74,000 after finding that it had not furnished a safe workplace “free from recognized hazards that were causing or likely to cause death or serious physical harm to employees in that employees were exposed to a hazard of being struck by a moving train.”
Serious Head Injury on ABC’s Castle
Employer: ABC Studios, Aka Castle/ABC Studios, Los Angeles
At approximately 2:22 a.m. on January 18, 2013, an incident occurred when Employee #1, a stuntman, was to perform a stunt involving the kidnapping of another person. The stunt was performed at a street on the back lot of a television studio. The stunt involved the carrying of another coworker into the open sliding door of a stopped cargo van. The van door was to begin to close and the van was to drive out of camera view. During the first filming of the scene, the stuntman carried the other actor into the van. The van door was latched closed and the van accelerated out of the scene while turning to the left. On the second “take” the door was not closed prior to the movement of the van. Employee #1 thrown out of the right side sliding van door. Employee #1 sustained serious head injuries when his head struck the pavement. Employee #1 was taken to a local area hospital, where surgery was performed due to his injuries from the accident.
Lone Ranger Worker Drowns
Employer: Silver Bullet Productions, Inc. Acton, Ca.
At approximately 9:00 a.m. on September 21, 2012, Employee #1 was working alone and cleaning a water tank. The tank was approximate 100 ft by 80 ft by 25 ft (max depth) with a vacuum. He cleaned the tank to enhance its water clarity, so the tank could be used for underwater filming. Employee #1 used SCUBA equipment to remove debris from the tank at a depth of 25 ft. Another employee, who was assigned as his diving buddy, left the area for approximately 10 minutes. The coworker arrived and noticed no bubbles at the surface of the tank from Employee #1’s SCUBA. The coworker entered the tank to rescue Employee #1, but he had drowned.
Multiple Fractures in Botched High Fall
Employer: BBDO Toronto
At approximately 2:30 p.m. on February 17, 2012, Employee #1, a stuntman, was working on a television commercial for two days. He attempted to swing into an air-filled balloon after jumping from a scissor lift while suspended by a hydraulic lift. The balloon was suspended from and swinging for another mobile crane located near the mobile crane that supported Employee #1. As he swung into the eight foot diameter balloon, he hit the three foot diameter water-filled balloon placed inside the air-filled balloon. Employee #1 was transported to County USC Medical Center and was hospitalized for 7 days with unspecified fractures.
Stuntman Seriously Injured when Trampled by a Horse
Employer: Warstein Limited, Simi Valley
At 3:00 p.m. on February 9, 2012, Employee #1 was involved in a movie production at the Big Sky Ranch located in Simi Valley, California. Employee #1 sustained serious injuries (unspecified fractures) when he fell from a horse during movie production and was trampled by the horse. Employee #1 was transported to the Los Robles Medical Center and was hospitalized for seven days. Employee #1 underwent multiple surgeries for his injuries. At 3:00 p.m. on February 9, 2012, Employee #1 was involved in a movie production at the Big Sky Ranch located in Simi Valley, California. Employee #1 sustained serious injuries (unspecified fractures) when he fell from a horse during movie production and was trampled by the horse. Employee #1 was transported to the Los Robles Medical Center and was hospitalized for seven days. Employee #1 underwent multiple surgeries for his injuries.
Worker Killed on GI Joe 2 in New Orleans
Employer: Long Branch Productions LLC & Paramount Pictures, Inc.
On November 22, 2011, employees were using a SkyJack scissor lift (Model Number SJ3226) to dismantle the walls of a movie set stage. Employee #1 attempted to drive the scissor lift, in the lowered position, down a ramp on the side of the stage. The ramp was inclined 15 degrees and was 4 feet wide by approximately 23 feet long. While attempting to navigate the curve from the stage to the ramp, which ran parallel to the stage, the scissor lift bottomed out on the top of the ramp and became caught on the guardrail. Other employees pulled the guardrail back to dislodge the lift. When Employee #1 drove forward, the lift went off the side of the ramp and fell approximately 5 feet to the concrete floor. Employee #1 sustained a serious head injury and he was killed.
Employee Is Shot And Injured By Nail Gun
Employer: Woodridge Productions Inc, Santa Clarita, Ca.
On October 20, 2011, Employee #1, with a film production company, was using an Airy pneumatic nail gun (Model Number CDL C332) to fasten a doorstop to a door casing for a prop. The stop area was slightly above her head. The nail gun had a safety latch and an actuation trigger. The gun was reportedly difficult to pick up without depressing the safety latch. While Employee #1 was moving her finger off the safety, another finger hit the trigger. A nail punctured her forearm. Employee #1 was initially treated at a local clinic and released. Two days later, she was admitted to a hospital for surgery.
10 Hospitalized in Car Roll-Over
Employer: NBC Universal LLC, doing business as Paqu Films LLC, Valencia
At approximately 1:45 p.m., on September 20, 2011, a passenger van transporting 14 employees of Paqu Films, LLC rolled over while descending down a dirt road, with a grade varying from 10 to 16. All 14 passengers of the van were evaluated by paramedics and set medic on scene. Employee #1 and Employee #2 were taken by ambulance and Employee #3 was taken by helicopter to Henry Mayo Hospital in Valencia. Production made arrangements for all 11 remaining passengers to go to Henry Mayo Hospital for evaluation as a precaution. Ten passengers agreed to be taken for evaluation, one person refused any further treatment. All 13 crewmembers that were taken to the hospital were evaluated, treated and released the same day.
Stunt Performer Fractures Feet and Ankles while Testing Stunt for Fear Factor
Employer: Lock And Key Productions Inc., doing business as Fear Factor, Los Angeles
On August 18, 2011, Employee #1, a stunt performer, was performing a stunt that involved a controlled descent of approximately 70 ft from a suspended cargo net to the ground. He wore a full-body harness and was supported by a safety line that was connected to a 100-ton crane mast and was also under the control of a decelerator device. This device was designed provide a controlled descent to the ground during the final portion of the fall. When the safety line became kinked in one of the pulleys, slack continued to build on the other side. After the kink worked through the pulley, the slack resulted in an additional 8 ft free fall, causing Employee #1 to strike the ground. He was immediately treated at the scene by the on-site set paramedic and was subsequently hospitalized for fractures of both feet and ankles. Prior to the incident, several trial runs were conducted successfully using sand bags and mannequins.
Two Grips Hurt in Fall when Fall from Scenery Frame
Employer: Finnmax, LLC, Los Angeles
At approximately 4:30 p.m. on June 5, 2011, Employees #1 and #2, represented by IATSE (apparently, International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees) Local 80, were performing their assigned duties as full-time grips. The employees were working for a television show production company that was producing a television program at a movie studio in Burbank, CA. To produce the program, the production company was renting a stage on a studio lot, and the set was being prepared for a show taping. The production company had rented a scenery frame, called a “ribb”, from a scenery rental company, via a production design company. Representatives from a rigging company that specialized in the movie and television industry had directed the erection of the “ribb”. Supervisors from the production company assigned Employee’s #1 and #2 the task of hanging “black out” cloth, called duvetyn, on the “ribb”. Employees #1 and #2 climbed the “ribb” and connected their lanyards to the “ribb” frame. While Employees #1 and #2 were working, the “ribb” collapsed, and they fell approximately 20 to 25 feet to the floor. Employee #1 fractured his right fibula and injured his calf muscles and back. He was transported to a USC hospital, where he was treated and released. Employee #2 experienced back pain and sustained facial lacerations, as well as injuries to his right elbow and right hand. He was transported to Providence Holy Cross Medical Center, where he was treated and released. Production company representatives reported the accident at 8:13 p.m. on June 5, 2011. The production company was cited for failing to maintain inspection records, failing to establish an Injury and Illness Prevention Program, and lack of adequate fall protection.
Driver Killed in Fall from Truck
Employer: Marvel Eastern Productions LLC, Los Angeles
At approximately 1:30 p.m. on May 6, 2011, Employee #1, a truck driver for Marvel Eastern Productions LLC, was performing a regularly assigned task of a pre-trip truck inspection. He went to the back of his trailer and checked the truck load’s stability, and as a result, he fell from the back of the tractor trailer and landed on his head. He was killed. Employee #1’s head trauma, specifically skull fractures, resulted in his death.
Stuntwoman Put into Induced Coma after Being Hit by a Car on Justified
Employer: Woodbridge Productions, Inc., doing business as Justified, Santa Clarita
At 1:20 a.m. on February 3, 2011, an employee was working for Woodridge Productions, Inc., dba as “Justified,” a television program the firm was producing. She was on the set of “Justified” in Santa Clarita, CA. Woodridge Productions, Inc., was the production company for a television program called “Justified.” The accident involved a stuntwoman performing on camera in an automobile crash scene. The scene being shot involved two cars. One was driven by the “good guy” and the other by the “bad guy.” The “good guy” car was making a right turn at a corner, and the “bad guy” car was going straight. The “bad guy” car engaged the “good guy” car at the “good guy” car’s rear bumper and performed a “PIT maneuver.” The area was then cleared, and the “good guy” car performed a 270-degree spin with no obstructions. The spin left the “good guy” car positioned as if it had backed into a parking space. The next part of the scene involved the “bad guy” car’s backing into the side of the “good guy” car. That portion of the scene was rehearsed and shot four times without contact between the cars. The cameras were then repositioned to feature the impact between the two cars. A safety meeting was held, at which it was explained that the action would be the same as before, except that contact would now be made. The employee was standing beside the rear quarter panel of a car opposite of where contact was to be made. She was wearing 3-inch (7.6-cm) high heel shoes and was simply to run off-camera behind the “good guy” car. As contact was made, the “good guy” car bumped her. She fell on the sidewalk and hit her head. The road’s surface had previously been wetted down to facilitate the cars’ sliding, but now the surface was dry but dark. Her injuries include a skinned left ankle and a skull fracture. She was in a drug-induced coma for several days. Later, she was awake and talking, but she was still in an ICU as of February 9, 2011. The accident was reported by the Los Angeles Fire Department at 2:39 a.m. the same day and by the employer’s safety representative at 9:26 a.m. the same day to the Los Angeles office of Cal/OSHA.
Exposure to Toxic Fumes on Paramount’s Contagion
Employer: Paramount Pictures, Los Angeles
On November 1, 2010, Employee #1, a foreman sign writer, was working in the front room of the sign shop, gluing double stack central PVC stand-off letters for a production called “Contagion”. Employee #1 used 3 tubes of Devcon Plastic Welder Adhesive and Activator to attach the letters. The Devcon Plastic Welder Adhesive and Activator contain the following: methacrylic acid; methyl methacrylate monomer; chlorosulfonated polyethylene; carbon tetrachloride; 3, 5- diethyl-1, 2-dihydro-1-phenyl-2-propylpyridine; and trade secret ingredients. He stated that he used the product for a total of 2.5 hours and experienced no health symptoms during the use of the product. He stated that later that night, at approximately 9:00 p.m., he started experiencing a headache, which he characterized as more severe than the headaches he normally experiences and also experienced a bloody nose. Employee #1 called in sick during the week as his symptoms became worse. On Friday November 5, 2010, Employee #1 went to the emergency room where he was given pain medication for his headache and was released. On Monday, November 8, 2010, Employee #1 went to his private physician who performed blood tests and diagnosed him as dehydrated with elevated liver enzymes. He was admitted and received an IV for 4 days without any other treatment. Employee #1 was released Friday, November 12, 2010 with no residual symptoms and was informed by his physician that he could return to full duty without work restrictions.
Worker Killed at Digital Domain Party
Employer: Digital Domain Productions Inc., Venice, Ca.
At 12:30 a.m. on March 27, 2010, Employee #1 and other workers were participating in “martini night”, which is held every other month to give employees an opportunity to get together and exchange ideas. The employer, Digital Domain Products, Inc., provided the meeting place from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. At approximately 11:30 p.m., a coworker with a background with the circus in free-climbing, decided to go out the window and climb down 6 ft to a 24 in. wide ledge. After approximately 10 minutes, Employee #1 decided to go out the window. According to the coworker, Employee #1 put himself in a dangerous position. Employee #1 fell 6 ft hitting the ledge and falling an additional 10 ft to the asphalt surface. Employee #1 was taken to a hospital, where he later died.
Worker Injured in Scissor Lift Accident on Priest
Employer: Screen Gems Productions, Culver City
At 1:50 p.m. on September 26, 2009, Employee #1 was working on a sound stage for a movie set that was being constructed. The set was made out Styrofoam blocks, each measuring 10 feet long by 10 feet wide by 4 feet high, and weighing approximately 200 lbs. The blocks were stacked to a height of 24 feet. As the blocks were lifted with an electric chain hoist, two tag-lines, provided from two scissor lifts on either side, were used to guide them. Employee #1 was located in one of the scissor lifts providing the tag lines. While one of the blocks was being hoisted to the top of the stack, the tag line on one side became caught in the guard rails of the scissor lift that Employee #1 was working from. The lift was pulled over, causing Employee #1 to fall. He was taken to a local hospital, where he was treated for a cut on his forehead and torn ligaments in his left foot.
Two Workers Badly Burned
Employer: Marvel Film Productions LLC, Manhattan Beach
On June 2, 2009, Employees #1 and #2 were working with pyrotechnic materials that were going to be used to create a laser cutting effect on the set. Due to delays in production, they needed to disassemble the pyrotechnic display. Each of them was using a bare hand to brush the mixture of Titanium and Sparking Balls Arcing Match, D2 Sparking Granules from the surface of a wooden prop into his other hand. Employees #1 and #2 sustained serious burn injuries to their hands when the mixture ignited. They were not using any face or hand protection during this operation. They were hospitalized at Torrance Memorial Burn Center for treatment of their burns.
Stuntman Burned Over 50% of His Body on the Movie Remnant
Employer: GTL Media, LLC
On May 9, 2009, Employee #1 was engaged in a movie stunt in which explosives were detonated, as he was diving through a sugar glass window. Employee #1’s clothing caught on fire and resulted in first to third degree burns to approximately “50” (assumed to be 50%) of his body. He was hospitalized.
Stuntman injured in fall on HBO’s True Blood
Employer: Fangbanger Productions Inc.
At approximately 11:15 a.m. on April 28, 2009, Employee #1, a stuntman, was working for Fangbanger Productions Incorporation at a location in Whittier, CA. He was participating in the filming of the premium-television show series, True Blood. The filming occurred at Rose Hills Mortuary and Memorial Park, inside the Sky Rose Chapel. For the film, he was to simulate being thrown backwards. The stuntmen rehearsed outside of the chapel by performing the identical stunt several times, according to witnesses. Once the stunt was ready to be filmed, the pads and extension ladder was set up inside the chapel for filming. Two witnesses stated approximately eight pads were placed on the ground to support two stuntmen falling within the same vicinity. During the first run of the stunt inside the chapel, Employee #1 was pulled backwards by a rigger. Employee #1 flew backwards approximately 10 ft. As he landed, the back of his head missed the pad and hit the concrete/tiled floor, causing his injury. He was transported to LAC-USC Medical Center, where he was hospitalized for two nights to receive treatment for head injuries.
Grip Injured in Fall from Ladder
Employer: Seven Pounds Productions Inc., Los Angeles
On April 28, 2008, Employee #1 was a grip, working at a residence being used to shoot a movie. Employee #1, three other grips and the key grip were tying silks onto a 30 ft by 30 ft by 13 ft frame located outside of the house. Employee #1 was using a 12 ft A-frame ladder to gain access to the frame and hang the silks. He was standing on the third rung from the top cap. Employee #1 was injured when he fell off the ladder and landed on the ground approximately 8 ft below. The supervisor inspected the immediately after Employee #1 fell. No deficiencies, irregularities, nor hazards were observed. Employee #1 was hospitalized at Cedars Sinai Hospital for six days for treatment of unspecified rib and spinal injuries. The employer had a functional Injury and Illness Prevention Program which included safety meetings and inspections. Employee #1 had received health and safety training through his union, the IATSE Grips and Craft Services Local 80.
Worker Injured in Fall from Platform
Employer: Paramount Pictures, Los Angeles
At approximately 10:00 a.m. on March 17, 2008, Employee #1, a member of an HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) crew, attempted to retrieve 8-inch vent tubing from the top of a storage rack inside the storage/ventilation room. Employee #1 walked up a flight of stairs and onto a platform. The tubing was located across from where he was standing. Employee #1 stepped off the platform and onto a wood gate latch of the barn door, causing the door latch to be released. The door opened and Employee #1 fell a distance of 10 feet, 8 inches to the ground. Paramedics were summoned immediately, and Employee #1 was transported to a hospital for treatment. As a result of the incident, Employee #1 sustained head trauma and fractures to his right shoulder, nine ribs, and vertebrae. Employee #1 was hospitalized for seven days.
Driver Injured Unloading Truck
Employer: Monk Productions, Los Angeles
On October 11, 2007, an employee, a transportation driver, was unloading a roll of carpet from a flatbed pickup truck. The carpet was rolled up and was sitting at an upward angle from the front of the bed. It was wrapped with a piece of rope to keep it rolled. The employee was using the rope to pull it backward when the rope broke. This caused him to lose his balance and fall approximately 40 inches to the asphalt surface of the parking lot. He sustained a broken radius, ulna, and triangular wrist bone, which required surgery. He was hospitalized.
Worker Breaks Back in Fall from Scaffolding
Employer: Ironworks Productions, Los Angeles
On June 4, 2007, Employee #1 was working as a special effects worker for a movie production company. Employee #1 and a crafts services worker were working from a single level, 12-ft scaffold platform which was being used as a set and grip bed for the Ironman movie being filmed at the studio. The employees were attempting to place a break-away wall on the platform of the scaffold to continue erecting the movie set. In order to land the break-away wall with a forklift, Employee #1 and the coworker removed the guardrail while Employee #1 was standing on the scaffold platform. According to Employee #1, the coworker worked from a ladder below the scaffold to remove the lower bolts. After they removed the bolts from the guardrail, the rail started to fall and Employee #1 lost his balance and fell approximately 12 ft to the working level. Employee #1 was hospitalized was diagnosed with shattered heel bones, and a fracture of the L-3 disc. Employee #1 was hospitalized for two weeks.
Worker Seriously Injured in Fall from Scaffolding on Universal’s Back Lot Prepping National Treasure: Book of Secrets
Employer: NT2 Productions, Los Angeles
On April 19, 2007, Employee #1 was working at the uppermost level of a scaffold and had been installing uprights, ribbons and ledgers. He and coworkers had worked from a single plank while erecting the scaffold, which was now almost complete. The scaffold ranged in height from 40 to 42 ft. Single and double planked work platforms were provided at the uppermost level of the scaffold where they worked. There were no guardrails and no additionally planked tiers between the workers and the ground. The scaffold was comprised of uprights that were arranged in a 5 ft by 5 ft pattern with ribbons and ledgers that were positioned every 6.5 ft form a bay. The bays were connected to form a three-dimensional lattice type of structure that included five towers, 40 to 42 ft in height. The towers were erected on the perimeter of a base structure that was one bay high and 90 ft wide by 125 ft long. The scaffold planks used by the erectors as a work platform did not cover the entire space between uprights such that there was an open area that exceeded 3 ft and up to 4 ft in either dimension throughout the working level. Some bays had no planks. There was also no safe means of access to the uppermost work platform and the erectors reported that they climbed the uprights and ledgers to reach their work areas. Employee #1 fell approximately 40 ft to the concrete slab upon which the scaffold had been erected. He suffered serious head trauma and multiple broken bones and was hospitalized.
Worker Sustains Facial Fractures Testing Movie Prop
Employer: Good Time Charlie Productions LLC, NBC Universal Studios, Los Angeles
At approximately 2:23 p.m. on January 18, 2007, Employee #1 and a coworker were test-firing the visual characteristics of a cylindrical round, constructed with cardboard and using black powder as a propellant, to simulate a 44-mm Stinger missile. The round was fired from a hand held device consisting of a steel cylinder “mortar” attached to a wooden rifle stock and using an electrical device powered by a 9-volt battery for firing. Employee #1 was injured when the round exploded within the device while he was firing it. Employee #1 sustained fractures to his face. Employee #1 was hospitalized for 12 days.
Three Stuntmen Burned in Special Effects Explosion
Employer: Shark Productions, Los Angeles
On November 19, 2006, Employees #1, #2 and #3 were stuntmen who were working for a television studio production company. The three stuntmen were performing a scene which involved them running from a building. The special effect explosion and fire ball was supposed to be activated after the stuntmen ran from a doorway. The Special Effects Coordinator had set up the mortars loaded with black powder lifters and isopropyl alcohol. The Coordinator positioned himself to have a “line of site” view so that he could activate the effect at the appropriate time. Immediately before the shot, the Coordinator moved to a different location to get out of the camera’s shot. When he moved, the Coordinator lost his depth perception for the location of where the stuntmen would be passing the special effect mortars. When the stuntmen ran through the door, the Coordinator activated the effect. Employees #1, #2 and #3 were burned when the explosion and the fireball occurred as they passed by. They were treated at White Memorial Hospital, for first and second degree burn injuries, but were not hospitalized.
Stuntman Falls from Ladder, Fractures Both Arms
Employer: Reset Productions, Los Angeles
On October 20, 2006, Employee #1, an experienced stunt performer, was on a fixed vertical ladder. The cast and crew were engaged in other production activities and were not focused on the fire escape or ladder. The ladder had been installed by the production company specifically for the stunt sequence and was secured to the exterior wall of the building, adjacent the fire escape. Employee #1 has previously rehearsed the sequence and descended the ladder without incident. He fell from the ladder, 20 ft, fracturing both arms and received a head injury. Employee #1 was hospitalized.
Worker’s Legs Crushed by Falling Equipment on Pirates of the Caribbean III
Employer: Second Mate Productions Inc., Los Angeles
On October 3, 2006, Employee #1 was a prop maker and welder for the makers of the “Pirates of the Caribbean III” movie. He was working on a structure intended to be used underwater as a supporting stand. It weighed 4,700 lbs and was constructed from I- beams. The structure was being raised to weld the underside. It was rigged with 2 3-ft polyester slings attached to the ends of an 8 ft 4 in. steel spreader bar, which weighed 100 lbs. The slings were placed through Crosby screw-pin shackles that were rated for 3.25 tons and attached to the spreader bar. The spreader bar was attached to an 18-in. long polyester sling and slung over one fork of a JLG Telehandler, Model Number G10-55A, forklift. The slings were manufactured by Olympic Synthetic Products, Incorporated. The rated capacity of each sling was 5,300 lbs. The structure had been lifted twice. On the third lift, the top sling broke and the structure fell injuring Employee #1. He was hospitalized for multiple fractures of both legs and feet.
Forklift Runs Over Worker Tearing Down Game Show Set
Employer: All Access Staging & Productions, Van Nuys
At approximately 11:14 a.m. on September 2, 2006, Employee #1 was working for an employer that designed and assembled stages including stage effects for musical concerts and television shows. Prior to the accident, two employees were tearing down a stage for a game show. Employee #1 was moving chalks, 4 ft by 4 ft pieces of wood by hand in a parking lot of a studio that was rented out. The chalks were supposed to be placed under decks so the decks could be lifted later. Employee #1’s coworker, a forklift operator, was operating a Wiggens Lift, 8,000 lbs. capacity first stage, Model W G 86 RTA, Serial Number 688, gross weight 15,300 lbs, moving decks and boxes of pipe legs to the parking lot. It was a hot day so the forklift operator allowed Employee #1 to stand on the left side step of the forklift truck for a ride to the parking lot. When the forklift operator placed the forklift into gear, it rolled forward, and Employee #1 fell off. The tire ran over Employee #1’s right knee. Employee #1 was hospitalized and treated for a fractured leg and a puncture wound.
Worker’s Fingers Amputated
Employer: Second Mate Productions, Los Angeles
On June 14, 2006, Employee #1, of Second Mate Productions, and a coworker were planing 16-ft lengths of 2-inch by 12-inch boards. The workers started planing boards at 6:00 a.m. that morning and had completed approximately 400 boards. They were using a Woodtek Electric Planer (Model #816427, Serial # 94038) with blades to rough up the surface rather than smooth it so as to achieve an aged look. The process required two people because the operator and the off-bearer had to turn the board slightly while it was planing in order to get the desired worn and weathered look. During the course of the day, the workers used an air nozzle to blow accumulated dust from the machine. Near the end of the day, Employee #1 used his gloved hand to brush off saw dust and wood chips on the exhaust chute while the machine was running. The employee described that he made a sweeping motion inside the exhaust chute and his glove got caught on the rotating hold-down roller, pulling his hand into the pinch point between the hold-down roller and the fixed part of the electric planer. The employee sustained crushing injuries to the fourth and pinky finger on his right hand. The tips of both fingers were surgically amputated to the end of the nail bed in order to close the wounds. Examination of the wood planer revealed that the cutting heads were adequately covered by solid metal safeguards as required. The opening into the exhaust chute was more than 2 inches high for the full 5-inch depth of the frame to the hold-down roller. The hold-down roller, a moving part of the machine, was not effectively guarded either by the frame of the machine or by location. The employer’s training records and employee statements evidenced an effective injury and illness prevention program (IIPP). The injured worker knew that gloves, loose clothing or finger rings should not be worn around moving parts of machinery and had been admonished earlier by his supervisor. However, he chose to wear the gloves to protect his hands from the sticky sap.
Worker Killed When Run Over By a Truck on the Film Barbershop
Employer: Blind Decker Productions, Inc., Los Angeles
At approximately 2:30 p.m. on August 16, 2005, Employee #1 was working for the transportation department on a production in a parking lot at a park. A coworker was operating a red 1999 Ford F-550 truck (Serial Number 5V26838) transporting a generator. After arriving at the parking lot, the coworker unhooked the equipment in one of the parking spaces and started to approach another coworker in the backward direction. The operator was using the side view mirrors during the backward movement. About half way, he heard the other coworker yell for him to stop. According to the coworker, Employee #1 was standing directly behind the truck and was hidden from operators view. The bed of the truck struck Employee #1 causing him to fall to ground at which time the truck’s rear wheels ran over him. Employee #1 was killed.
Stuntman Suffers Pelvic Fracture on Pirates of the Caribbean II
Employer: Second Mate Productions, Valencia
On July 21, 2005, an employee was performing stunt rehearsals for the motion picture “Pirates of the Caribbean II” at Disney Ranch in Valencia, CA. He was rehearsing a stunt that would simulate rolling from a horizontal position while falling from a height of 80-feet and then transitioning into a vertical spin while continuing downward to the ground. The stunt was scripted and choreographed to utilize a descender device and a full body harness that would control the speed of the fall so that the stunt performer could perform the required gymnastics while he was falling. The stunt had been successfully rehearsed by the same performer one month prior. On the day of the accident, the employee had successfully completed the combined stunt and gymnastic routine from a lower starting point for warm-up earlier that morning. The accident occurred when the employee’s legs became separated while he was descending and he was unable to pull them together due to the inertia from the spinning and falling motions. All equipment functioned as intended. The employee came to a stop when he reached his targeted elevation and was hanging from the pick point on the hip of his personal flying harness. He did not strike the ground or the stunt pads that were provided on the ground. The set medic was on scene at the time of the accident and attended to the employee. The employee was transported by ambulance to Henry Mayo Hospital in Newhall, where he was admitted and received surgery for a pelvis fracture and sacral disruption and ongoing rehabilitation and physical therapy. The employee was an experienced gymnast and had been performing stunts since 1997.
Electrician Breaks Leg in Fall from Ladder
Employer: Granite Productions, Los Angeles
At approximately 6:00 a.m. on June 27, 2005, an employee working for a company that produces T.V. shows was the chief electrician for a shoot at a remote location in an old warehouse that had been rented for the day. The employee took some electrical power cables to the roof of the building to determine where they would be needed on the roof. As he began laying the wires over the side of the building to eventually go to a generator for power, he laid the first bundle over the side and began climbing over the parapet and down a fixed industrial ladder. Due to recent robberies, the ladder he was using had been cut ten feet from the top to prevent thieves from accessing the roof. As he reached the bottom rung of the ladder, he stepped off, falling 15.5 ft to the lower roof level. The employee received a compound fracture to his lower left leg and was hospitalized for his injury.
Special Effects Technician Badly Burned in Explosion
Employer: Paramount Pictures, Los Angeles
On June 6, 2005, Employee #1, a Paramount Pictures special effects technician, sustained second- and third-degree burns over more than 50 percent of his body when special effects pyrotechnics exploded unexpectedly while he was in proximity. He was stabilized at the scene by on-site emergency medical personnel, and then airlifted to Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital. He was later transferred to Torrance Memorial Medical Center in extremely critical condition. Employee #1 was hospitalized for four months and underwent numerous surgeries and skin grafts. The investigation found that the pyrotechnic device detonated as a result of a short circuit.
Worker Injured by Special Effects Device on the Movie Domino
Employer: Domino 17521, Inc., Las Vegas
On December 18, 2004, Employee #1, of Domino 17521, Inc., constructed a homemade device to hold smoke chemicals. After the chemicals had been ignited and the device had been placed on top of a crate, the holding device exploded. Employee #1 was injured when a piece of metal struck him in the lower abdomen and upper leg.