Hollywood safety pledge marks anniversary of crew fatality
Friday 1st April 2016
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Initial signatories to the Safety for Sarah End Credits scheme include Warner Bros and the production company for The Vampire Diaries.
The scheme asks producers to sign a letter of intent committing themselves to a working environment that "supports the highest creative expression of the project while respecting the safety of every participant". The campaign was launched by the parents of Sarah Jones, a camera operator's assistant, killed by a train while filming in February 2014.
The crew of Midnight Rider, a film about the life of singer Greg Allman, was preparing a scene on a railway bridge in Wayne County, Georgia, when a freight train travelling at 96 kph crossed the bridge, striking and killing Jones.
Several other crew members were injured by parts of a bed laid across the track which blew apart when the train hit it.
Production company Unclaimed Freight Productions had permission from the landowner to film on the land but none from the railway operator CSX to go on to the bridge over the Altamaha River.
Joyce Gilliard, a hairstylist on the shoot whose arm was torn off in the accident, told the Hollywood Reporter newspaper the crew members working on the narrow bridge were warned they would have only one minute to clear the tracks if a train came.
Director Randall Miller pleaded guilty to charges of involuntary manslaughter and criminal trespass and received a 10-year prison sentence.
The accident is widely credited as refocusing US film producers' minds on their duty of care to workers on set.
Midnight Rider, which was due to star William Hurt, has not been released.
The 36-year-old David Ashley Construction employee, originally from Romania, was working in a building under construction at De Montfort University. He was dismantling falsework when the accident happened on 15 June 2015. The Health and Safety Executive launched an investigation and found there was an unsafe system of work and inadequate supervision.
The employee’s left arm was caught between two rollers in October 2013 as he tried to fix a laminating machine. He sustained multiple fractures to his arm, as well as muscle and nerve damage. The Health and Safety Executive’s investigation found the risk assessment for the laminating machine was unsuitable and the company had not taken adequate measures to prevent access to dangerous moving parts.
As we reported earlier this week, Selig UK employee Thomas Jones’ arm was fractured in several places and he sustained muscle and nerve damage while trying to fix the company’s bespoke, 28 m laminating machine on 15 October 2013.
Basingstoke Magistrates’ Court was told that Poligrat UK employee Keith Brown, 51, was disposing of waste cleaning chemicals. He poured caustic pearl granules into the intermediate bulk container (IBC) used to store the chemicals to help neutralise them.A chemical reaction occurred and the IBC became unstable and its contents erupted over Brown. He fell to the floor and his safety glasses blew off, resulting in alkaline burns to his eyelids and corneal ulcers. The worker’s legs were also burned and grazed.
A Lander Automotive welder’s glove became caught in the drill bit of a machine he was working on and he suffered partial amputation to the third finger on his right hand. The Health and Safety Executive’s investigation into the 17 June 2015 accident found the company failed to provide adequate training, a safe system of work, a risk assessment or method statement. It said the worker was expected to work on a variety of jobs as required by production.
Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard that on a visit an HSE inspector found an employee at the bottom of the 3.5 m-deep unshored excavation and instructed him to exit immediately. There was also no edge protection around the top of the excavation to prevent people or objects falling into it. HSE inspectors had previously taken action on similar risks at other sites and still failed to ensure suitable and sufficient safe access to the site.
A Belfast-based Risk & Compliance software provider has been collaborating with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and construction giant Costain as part of an ongoing project to unlock artificial intelligence’s (AI) potential in improving the management of risks on worksites.
IOSH and award-winning content marketing and publishing agency Redactive today announced a new partnership to provide news, updates, insight, careers advice and job opportunities for safety and health’s largest professional community.
The US Department of Labor has presented an Ohio-based vehicle parts manufacturer on its ‘severe violator enforcement programme’ with a fine of $480,240 (approx. £373,000) after inspectors found it had continually exposed workers to multiple machine hazards