Star Wars co admits safety breaches over Harrison Ford injury
Tuesday 26th July 2016
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Ford was on the set of the Millennium Falcon spaceship at Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire when he was struck by the rapidly-closing heavy door and pinned to the ground. He sustained a broken leg and a dislocated ankle and had to be airlifted to hospital.
A spokesman for the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said "the power of the door's drive system was comparable to the weight of a small car". Ford was 71 when the accident occurred on 12 June 2014.
Foodles Production pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act at Milton Keynes Magistrates' Court.
The company was also due to face charges under Regulation 3(1) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations, which cover suitable and sufficient risk assessments, and Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations, which require equipment to be safe to use. However, these charges were withdrawn and will be incorporated into the two admitted breaches.
The case has been transferred to Aylesbury Crown Court with the date to be confirmed, according to the HSE.
"The British film industry has a world renowned reputation for making exceptional films. Managing on-set risks in a sensible and proportionate way for all actors and staff -- regardless of their celebrity status -- is vital to protecting both on-screen and off-screen talent, as well as protecting the reputation of the industry," said the HSE spokesman.
Citing evidence obtained by a freedom of information (FOI) request by the trade union Unite to Bolsover District Council, the report – Employment practices at Sports Direct – says that a finger amputation, fractured neck, crushed hand, and wrist, back and head injuries were just some of 115 incidents at the warehouse between 1 January 2013 and 19 April 2016.
Quantum Exhibitions and Displays was extending the yard at the rear of its workshop in Hipperholme that was previously covered by vegetation, and hardcore had already been laid as part of the work.The company’s general labourer Daniel Willis, 26, had been tasked with compacting the hardcore with a 2.5 tonne Bomag tandem ride-on road roller the company had hired. The yard abutted a steep slope that led down to a footpath and watercourse.
Bristol Crown Court heard that the Concrete Fabrications employee, who wants to remain anonymous, was adjusting tension rods to rectify the misaligned conveyor. The bars were inside the machine’s guard, close to the conveyor belt and rotating tail pulley. Aggregate had built up on the tension rods and he attempted to knock it off with a hammer, but it was caught by the rotating machinery. The worker’s arm was dragged in and severed between the shoulder and elbow.
The HSE launched an investigation on 27 July after it carried out an unannounced inspection of J G Hale Construction’s site in the town of Blaenavon. It found the company did not properly plan and manage its site and there were no control measures in place to prevent a fire starting and spreading.
Louise Hunt, senior coroner for Solihull and Birmingham, opened inquests into the five deaths on 20 July and immediately adjourned them, pending investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the police. The five workers were killed when a 4.5 m concrete wall collapsed on them at a recycling facility in Birmingham.The wall, at Hawkeswood Metal Recycling’s Aston Park Road plant, comprised 1.5-tonne blocks. It gave way just before 9am on 7 July, causing tonnes of scrap metal behind it to fall on top.
On the day of the accident a ship delivered frozen fish to Interfish’s Plymouth factory. The shrink-wrapped pallets (each weighing approximately one tonne) were moved by forklift into one of the company’s cold stores. A stack of pallets collapsed after one of the forklift truck drivers noticed it was unsteady and tried to stabilise it by pushing it backwards. No one was injured in this initial fall and three employees were sent into the cold store area to tidy up the fallen boxes.