Production company feels “The Force” of the law

In a recent sentencing a production company was fined £1.6 million for the injury suffered by Harrison Ford in 2014 during the production of the new Star Wars epic, The Force Awakens. Even a Jedi would not have been able to assist when the hydraulic door fell on the actor’s leg, barely missing his face and pinning his lower body to the floor and casing significant injury.

Handing down the sentence Judge Francis Sheridan indicated that the door caused the broken leg and deep lacerations with the prosecutor highlighting the risk that door could actually have killed a person.

In their defence the production company highlighted the fact that this was an innocent mistake made by bona fide professionals after the company pleaded guilty to two breaches of Health and Safety law.

Whether you produce cardboard boxes or box office hits this case acts as a timely reminder that employers owe a duty of care to their employees and those around. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) were clear to indicate that every employer has a duty to manage risk in the workplace and failure to do so could lead to significant court sanctions.

If you have any queries about your HSE obligations as an employer, are under investigation or face prosecution please contact our specialist Regulatory Law Solicitor, Oliver Nicholas at on 01952 297979 ro olivern@terry-jones.co.uk or via Twitter @TerryJonesLaw.

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