Film set safety experts point to Hollywood’s poor track record as evidence that movie and television production studios aren’t doing everything they should in order to keep people out of harm’s way. In 2015, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, received almost twice as many complaints of severe accidents during film productions than it did during the previous year. OSHA representatives told news sources that the agency wasn’t responsible for determining fine amounts. Attorneys familiar with the issue also noted that OSHA only has limited resources to enforce penalties.
Further compounding the problem, many safety incidents don’t even get reported, and safety experts say that mounting financial pressures have prompted some studio decision-makers to make production choices with fatal ramifications. The family of a pilot who perished in a 2015 plane crash on the set of a Tom Cruise movie accused a studio of ignoring the deceased man’s warnings that he couldn’t operate the plane because it was too worried about making up for lost time and money.
In one 2014 incident, a 27-year-old camera assistant died because her director decided to shoot around train tracks yet failed to obtain a permit to do so. The train collision that claimed the woman’s life also injured eight other individuals, and the independent filmmaker eventually pleaded guilty to criminal charges.
When companies place profits over people, they make mistakes that result in serious personal injuries. In some cases, these incidents permanently compromise victims’ livelihoods, but even when they’re able to recover, injured workers still incur lost wages, medical bills and other expenses. Those who are in this position may want to have an attorney’s assistance in filing a claim for workers’ compensation benefits that could help ease some of these pressures.