HSE International

The Shard is evacuated after fire breaks out in restaurant on 33rd floor

More than 100 people have been evacuated from The Shard after an oven fire broke out in a restaurant on the 33rd floor of the London landmark this morning.

Firefighters were called to the floor, which hosts Chinese restaurant Hutong, at around 11am after a fire started in the kitchen.

Diners and staff were evacuated from restaurants on levels 31, 32 and 33 of the building – which is the tallest in London at 306 metres – and there have been no reported injuries.

Seven fire engines and 35 fire officers attended the scene – but the fire was put out by the restaurant’s sprinkler system.

More than 100 people have been evacuated from The Shard after an oven fire broke out in a restaurant on the 33rd floor

The rest of the building on St Thomas Street in Southwark was unaffected. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

One visitor, Katie Buckley, posted on twitter after being forced to evacuate the building.

She said: ‘Just had to walk 245m down stairs because there was a fire alarm at The Shard and all the lifts were broken.’

Another visitor, Sarah Grant, tweeted: ‘Stuck up #TheShard in London due to a fire alarm going off! Pity there isn’t a cafe up here!’

Andy Rundell tweeted: ’50th birthday trip up the Shard cancelled due to fire alarm!!’

Managers at Hutong, which offers a signature menu at £68 per person, posted on Twitter saying: ‘Regrettably we will be closed until further notice due to an evacuation.’

Seven fire engines and 35 fire officers attended the scene - but the fire was put out by the restaurant's sprinkler system

Original Source: http://dailym.ai/1M35fax

Pizza Express fined £200,000 after worker fell out of restaurant window

PizzaExpress (Restaurants) Ltd was fined £200,000 today (31 July) after a maintenance worker was seriously injured after falling 5 metres out of a restaurant window onto the pavement below.

Kamil Pisarek, who was 28 years old at the time of the incident, suffered serious spinal injuries and was left a tetraplegic after surviving the fall on 8 December 2011.

On the day of the accident, the former head chef required Kamil to carry a heavy hot cupboard up a back staircase leading from the first to the second floor, assisted by three other employees.

The hot cupboard, weighing 168kg, became stuck on the first landing in close proximity to a low-level first floor window. While trying to free the unit, Kamil fell backwards through the window and onto the pavement.

Westminster City Council prosecuted PizzaExpress (Restaurants) Ltd after an investigation identified serious safety failings.

PizzaExpress (Restaurants) Ltd had pleaded guilty to breaching section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 for failing to protect the health, safety and welfare of one of its employees.

The company was fined £200,000 and ordered to pay costs amounting to £58,453 at a sentencing hearing at Southwark Crown Court.

After the hearing, Cllr Nickie Aiken, Westminster City Council’s cabinet member for public protection, said: “This was an awful incident, and this young man suffered life changing injuries which were wholly avoidable.

“We hope the sentence sends out a strong message to any businesses that are ever tempted to cut corners, especially when people’s lives and health could be put at risk.”

Original Source: http://www.shponline.co.uk/pizza-express-fined-200000-after-worker-fell-out-of-restaurant-window/?

Moy Park wins RoSPA Award

Moy Park has won the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) Food and Drink Health & Safety Award for 2015.

According to Moy Park, a 78% improvement in safety performance over the past three years, as well as many of its sites achieving over one million hours without a Lost Time Incident were the key factors in helping it win the award.

Mike Mullan, Moy Park HR director Europe, said: “This was our first time to enter and it is a great honour to be recognised in the UK’s most prestigious health and safety awards. Health and safety is at the core of everything we do, with risk assessment, accident prevention and active monitoring embedded firmly into our everyday operations.

“To win an industry-wide RoSPA award truly is an outstanding achievement for everyone – across the health and safety teams, site management and at an individual level – as we work together to continually drive forward industry-leading health and safety standards.”

David Rawlins from RoSPA added: “In making the award, judges considered Moy Park’s overarching occupational health and safety management systems, including practices such as leadership and workforce involvement. The standard of entries overall continues to improve making winning an Industry Sector award an ever-greater achievement.”

Original Source: http://bit.ly/1CWBJl9

McDonald’s workers claim hazardous conditions in 19 U.S. cities

By Lisa Baertlein

McDonald’s Corp restaurant workers from 19 U.S. cities complained to regulators on Monday that their working conditions are hazardous and have led to severe burns from hot grills and fryer oil.

Workers taking part in the Service Employees International Union-backed “Fight for $15” an hour campaign opened a new front in their two-year drive to increase pay and improve conditions in the fast-food industry by filing 28 state and federal complaints over health and safety.

McDonald’s workers, who already have claimed that they have been subjected to wage theft, racial discrimination and retaliation for attempting to unionize, hope to hold McDonald’s Corp responsible for the actions of its franchisees.

Some experts say a win could force the company to negotiate with workers and the union.

The latest complaints, targeting 19 franchised restaurants and nine operated by McDonald’s Corp in cities such as New York, New Orleans and Philadelphia, were filed over the last two weeks with the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and state authorities. Other cities include Kansas City, Missouri and Miramar, Florida.

They said workers were pressured to clean and filter fryer oil while it was still hot. They also said that many stores lacked basic first aid kits or protective gear and that managers told workers to treat burns with condiments such as mustard and mayonnaise.

McDonald’s said the company and its franchisees are committed to providing safe working conditions for employees in the brand’s roughly 14,000 U.S. restaurants.

“We will review these allegations,” Heidi Barker Sa Shekhem, a spokeswoman, said in a statement.

Brittney Berry, 24, said she was rushing to meet managers’ demands to work faster when she slipped and fell on a wet floor at a McDonald’s restaurant in Chicago, suffering a severe grill burn on her forearm and nerve damage to her wrist.

“The managers told me to put mustard on it, but I ended up having to get rushed to the hospital in an ambulance,” said Berry, who still works at the restaurant where she was injured.

“Fight for $15” organizers say McDonald’s Corp and its franchisees should be considered “joint employers” because the corporation wields significant control over operations at franchised restaurants with things like technology and compliance programs.

John Tomich, a safety consultant and former OSHA area director for New York, said it would be “legally challenging” to make that case in this context. (Reporting by Lisa Baertlein in Los Angeles; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Grant McCool)

Original Source: http://tmsnrt.rs/1CrdieP

Contaminated beer kills 69 people at funeral in Mozambique

Traditional beer possibly contaminated with crocodile bile has killed 69 people in Mozambique, health authorities have said.

Those who drank the contaminated brew were attending a funeral in the region on Saturday, district health official Alex Albertini said.

Pombe, a traditional Mozambican beer, is made from millet or corn flour. Authorities believe that the drink was poisoned with crocodile bile during the course of the funeral.

On Sunday evening, it was reported that 56 people had been killed and a further 49 people admitted to hospitals in the Chitima and Songo districts in the northeastern Tete province.

Blood and traditional beer samples were being sent to the capital Maputo to be tested, said provincial health director Carle Mosse.

“We don’t have the capacity to test the samples,” she told Radio Mozambique.

Mosse told Radio Mozambique on Sunday that she expected the situation to worsen because the region did not have the necessary resources to deal with the disaster.

Mourners who drank the beer in the morning reported no illness, while those who drank the beer in the afternoon, fell ill, authorities said. They believe the beer must have been poisoned while funeral goers were at the cemetery.

The woman who brewed the beer is also among the dead.

Police are investigating the incident.

Health authorities have begun collecting food parcels and other items for donation to the affected families.

Original Source: http://ind.pn/1AHJ5E8

Supermarket chickens: 70% affected by food bug

More than 70% of fresh chickens being sold in the UK are contaminated with the Campylobacter bug, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has revealed.

The figure is higher than in previous tests, which suggested a 59% contamination rate.

The highest rate was found in chickens being sold by Asda. Tesco was found to have relatively low rates of contamination.

Asda said it was disappointed, but was working hard to find a solution.

It is the first time that individual retailers have been named by the FSA, in an attempt to improve standards.

The agency said the results showed that there was still “a long way to go” before consumers are protected from the bug.

However, it reassured consumers by saying that Campylobacter is easily killed by thorough cooking.

Campylobacter is the biggest cause of food poisoning in the UK, responsible for 280,000 cases a year, and around 100 deaths.

Poultry is responsible in the majority of these cases.

Low risk

In its latest study, the FSA tested just under 2,000 fresh chickens.

When measured at the highest levels of contamination, it found that Asda was the worst offender, with 28% of its chickens having a concentration of more than 1,000 colony-forming units per gram.

Marks and Spencer was the next worst, with 22% of its birds contaminated.

Tesco, with an 11% contamination rate, was the only one of the major retailers with a better record than the industry average.

“These results show that the food industry, especially retailers, need to do more to reduce the amount of Campylobacter on fresh chickens,” said Steve Wearne, the director of policy at the FSA.

“If chicken is cooked thoroughly and preparation guidelines are properly followed, the risk to the public is extremely low,” Mr Wearne added.

Other advice from the FSA includes:

  • Covering raw chicken and storing it at the bottom of the fridge, so juices cannot drip on to other food
  • Not washing raw chicken, which can spread germs through splashing
  • Washing utensils and surfaces used to prepare raw chicken

Some experts believe roasting chicken inside a bag is also useful, as it eliminates skin contact.

Original Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-30227342#?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

Icelandic teenager dies after being thrown from roller coaster in Spain

A teenager from Iceland has died after falling from a roller coaster ride in Benidorm, Spain, officials have said.

The 18-year-old, who was on holiday with his family and a friend, was thrown from the green-coloured, twisting ride called the Inferno at the Terra Mitica (Mythical Land) amusement park on Monday, police said.

“We received a call at 4:45pm because an 18-year-old man, who was Icelandic, apparently because of a fault in the seat’s harness, was thrown out,”a source at Alicante provincial police station told AFP. “He hit the ground and died shortly afterwards in the ambulance.”

Police said the seat’s harness opened but it was unclear if the cause was a mechanical fault. The ride had been closed during police investigations. The victim has not been named.

In a statement the amusement park management said the rollercoaster had been officially certified as safe and it was checked daily by staff.

“For the moment the cause of the accident is unknown,” management said. “Terra Mitica will carry on investigating the cause of this most unfortunate incident … the management offer all their support to the family.” The park added that it had a spotless safety record for the previous 14 years.

A spokeswoman for the regional Valencia high court said an investigating judge was awaiting a police report within the next few days and would then decide on further action to discover what happened.

Original Source: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/08/iceland-teenager-dies-thrown-rollercoaster-spain-benidorm

Four people injured as roller coaster derails at California theme park

Four people were injured at a US theme park when a roller coaster car derailed, leaving them dangling 30 feet in the air.

Two people were taken to hospital but the accident on the Ninja ride at Six Flags Magic Mountain, in California, only caused minor injuries, officials said.

The coaster, which “dangles” riders from the track, was running as normal on Monday when a carriage hit a tree branch at about 5.30pm and stopped.

More than 20 riders were trapped between 20 and 30 feet in the air for almost three hours while they were rescued.

Jeremy Ead, one of the injured riders, told KCAL-TV they were going across a turn and there were a “sudden loud nose”.

He said: “I ducked down just in time. A hard branch hit me in the head. I was there bleeding from my head.”

Television reports showed at least one of the cars suspended beneath the track had derailed at the front.

Firefighters and park maintenance workers in harnesses could be seen removing the riders one by one from the cars as they waited patiently, talking and resting.

All were alert and communicated with park staff during the evacuation process, Six Flags said in a statement.

The theme park website describes the Ninja ride as “the black belt of rollercoasters” that “whips you into submission”.

“As you shoot down the snake-like steel track you’ll grip the hillsides and blast through the trees swiftly, slicing through the landscape,” it says. “Ninja pivots with precision as you narrowly miss tagging land and water, whipping around at 55 miles per hour.”

The ride will remain closed while the accident is investigated, a park spokesperson said.

Six Flags Magic Mountain is in the Valencia area of Santa Clarita, about 25 miles of Los Angeles.

In July last year, a 52-year-old woman died at the Six Flags Over Texas park when she fell 75 feet from the Texas Giant ride. The death was ruled an accident and the theme park denied any wrongdoing.

Origianl Source: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/four-people-injured-as-rollercoaster-derails-at-california-theme-park-9591337.html



Hull contractor behind main stage safety at Glastonbury Festival

Hull-based company SHE Knows Health & Safety has revealed that it was contracted to provide all health and safety risk assessments on one of the show stopping main stages throughout Glastonbury Festival.

The Arcadia Spectacular was a giant alien-like spider, which seemed to have landed in the middle of the Wiltshire countryside – complete with lasers, pyrotechnics, aerial performers, rave music and DJs in the head of the spider.

SHE Knows was responsible for ongoing health and safety risk assessments including helping to test all of the lasers and pyrotechnics, with a mixture of international contractors and artists, while liaising with the festival’s own health and safety team.

Linda Crossland-Clarke, managing director at SHE Knows Health & Safety said: “It wasn’t our everyday sort of job, really, it was full on and hectic as we pretty much had to be on site for 18 hours a day making sure that everything was in order.

“The contractors are all highly skilled but with international crews there is always the danger that people don’t talk to each other and things don’t get done that need to be.

“We didn’t get much time to go autograph hunting, that’s for sure.“

This is the latest contract for the health and safety specialist, which has also recently won work with Weetabix for its expanding Mission Room side of the business.

The company has also provided health and safety awareness training at Bridlington Spa as part of a council health and safety awareness week for all personnel, including site managers and training managers.

Original Source: https://bdaily.co.uk/environment/07-07-2014/hull-contractor-reveals-they-were-behind-main-stage-safety-at-glastonbury-festival/

Hollywood’s health and safety nightmare

Helicopter crashes, out-of-control explosions, runaway trains…As accidents on the sets of Star Wars and Midnight Rider show, film-making can be a very dangerous business.

It was the middle of the afternoon when the emergency call came from Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire. A 71-year-old man had injured his ankle “in an incident involving a garage door”. Paramedics on the air ambulance sent to ferry him to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford were amazed to discover their patient was no ordinary pensioner, but Hollywood actor Harrison Ford. His ankle had been smashed by a door falling from the Millennium Falcon, the spaceship his character Han Solo flies in the original Star Wars trilogy.

Weeks later, any initial suspicions that producers were being overcautious about their star have been dispelled; Ford had broken his left leg. No 71-year-old, however fit, rich and famous, is going to recover quickly from such an injury. Ford is expected to miss at least eight weeks of filming on Stars Wars: Episode VII.

Ford’s accident – involving, as it did, one of the leading men in the most high-profile film currently in production – was bound to make headlines. But many more have gone largely unreported. In fact, it’s the film industry’s dirty secret that accidents – even fatal ones – on film sets are ­shockingly common.

Statistics are hard to collate because most health and safety executives don’t file incidents under “film industry”, but it appears that between 20 and 40 people worldwide are killed or seriously injured during a film production each year — more, proportionately, than in US law enforcement, road construction or mining. (A particularly shocking statistic when you bear in mind that the majority of film employees have “safe” office jobs.)

“Certainly on lower-budget films, we suspect there is a lot of under-reporting of accidents and near misses,” says Martin Spence, assistant general secretary of BECTU, the media and entertainment union.

“Film sets are inherently dangerous,” says a producer of several blockbusters who doesn’t want to be named. “Even when it’s just a scene of two people walking across a set, there will be tremendous amounts of electricity, hot lights, ladders, heavy suspended equipment, power tools and trip hazards like cabling and carpentry everywhere.

“If you’re talking horror or thriller genres where the public always demands more thrills than ever before, you can add in weapons, explosives, chemicals, loud noises, cranes, helicopters. Factor in the constant time and money pressures, the fact that nearly everyone is freelance and working on a temporary structure, and it’s actually surprising more disasters don’t happen.”

The majority of accidents involve falls, fight sequences and trips and slips. The most dangerous work, unsurprisingly, involves helicopter crashes, which have killed 33 US film and television workers (no British figures are available) – nearly one a year – since 1980.

“Film-making is a weird world – a physical and psychological bubble,” says one crew member, who claims he was nearly killed last year when he fell from four-storey scaffolding which had no ladders or handrails and an insufficient number of walking boards, during a shoot for a big studio. He managed to save himself by grabbing a rail. In 2004 a similar accident killed a crew member of 2004’s The Phantom of the Opera.

“For eight or 10 weeks the director’s in charge of cast and crew, sometimes in a remote location, and his or her word is law,” he says. “If he wants people to do something crazy, it’s very hard for someone lower down the ladder to speak up.”


In the early days of film-making, death and injuries were almost an occupational hazard. Between 1925 and 1930, nearly 11,000 people were injured during Californian film productions; 55 died.

During the filming of 1920’s Haunted Spooks, the star Harold Lloyd lost his thumb and the first finger of his right hand when he picked up a bomb with a lit fuse which he assumed was a prop but which turned out to be real. For the rest of his career, Lloyd hid his missing fingers with a prosthetic glove. The same year, actress Lillian Gish lost the tips of her fingers to frostbite while being filmed floating on an ice floe towards Niagara Falls.

In 1928’s Noah’s Ark, 15,000 gallons of water were dumped too quickly on a crowd of extras in a studio tank. Three men drowned, another lost a leg and dozens were injured, including Marion Morrison – better known by his stage name, John Wayne.

Following this, the first film safety laws were passed, but accidents still happened with alarming regularity. During filming of 1939’s The Wizard of Oz, the Wicked Witch of the West, Margaret Hamilton, was badly burnt during the scene when she “vanished” in a burst of flame and smoke, when the trap door that should have removed her from the explosion was late opening. Her stunt double was injured in a scene involving a smoking broomstick, while Buddy Ebsen, originally cast as the Tin Man, had to leave the production after an allergic reaction to his make-up, resulting in a collapsed lung and lifelong breathing problems.

But the public became truly aware of the dangers of movie making only in 1982 when, during filming of Twilight Zone: The Movie, a helicopter flying just eight metres off the ground got caught in the pyrotechnics and span out of control, killing actor Vic Morrow and two child actors, aged six and seven, who were being paid in cash to circumvent laws banning children from working at night. Morrow’s line, which he never got to deliver, was, “I’ll keep you safe, kids. I promise. Nothing will hurt you, I swear to God.”

Investigators concluded there had been 36 safety violations and the tragedy resulted in a near-decade-long lawsuit. In the aftermath, numerous new safety codes were implemented. Over the next four years, accidents on set fell by almost 70 per cent, although there were still six deaths. While filming a Pepsi commercial in 1984, Michael Jackson’s hair was set on fire by a faulty pyrotechnic, resulting in second and third-degree burns to his scalp and body. After this he became addicted to painkillers, a condition which contributed to his death in 2009.

Since then, the litany of disasters has continued. Several stars, including Linda Hamilton in Terminator 2 and Bruce Willis in Die Hard, have suffered permanent hearing damage after firing guns without using earplugs. During recent filming of the third Hunger Games film, Jennifer Lawrence nearly choked to death when a fog machine suffered a “horrific” malfunction.

Unsurprisingly, far more at risk than the stars are professional stuntmen and women, with Hollywood recording 37 deaths related to stunts between 1980 and 1990. Since then, increased use of computer-generated imagery in films has meant the riskiest feats can be simulated. But stunt people remain in the front line, with many unwilling to turn down jobs for fear of being blacklisted. In 1995, respected stuntwoman Sonja Davis was killed when she hit her head making a 47ft backwards jump from a building for a scene in Vampire in Brooklyn. Friends said she’d refused the job initially, but then accepted after being offered more money, worried a refusal would render her unemployable.

In 2009, Daniel Radcliffe’s Harry Potter stunt double David Holmes was left paralysed after crashing backwards into a wall while filming the reaction to an explosion. Just last month, a stuntwoman began legal proceedings after receiving “severe” burns during the making of Face Off, an American reality show in which prosthetic make-up artists compete against each other to create the sort of prostheses found in science fiction and horror films.

But even more vulnerable are the often underpaid and overworked men and women behind the scenes. Investigations into safety standards on Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings franchise and King Kong, filmed in New Zealand, revealed that one model-maker was forced off work with permanent lung damage, allegedly after inhaling toxic chemicals.

Another contractor, who collapsed after ventilation fans failed, claimed he was “harassed about unfinished work” when he came in the following day.

Most at risk are cameramen and women, who are usually closest to the action but with little of the protective gear afforded actors and stunt people. In February this year, 27-year-old camera assistant Sarah Jones was killed while filming for Midnight Rider, a biopic of singer Gregg Allman, starring William Hurt. The accident happened during a dream sequence filmed on a railway bridge; with no warning, a freight train approached. Cast and crew ran for their lives but Jones, known for her indefatigability, was mown down, apparently as she tried to rescue equipment.

Hurt, who quit the movie, recalled in an email leaked to the Los Angeles Times how he’d previously asked the producers “how long the crew had to get off if by some impossible chance another train came”, and was told 60 seconds. “I said, ‘Sixty seconds is not enough time to get us off this bridge.’ There was a communal pause. No one backed me up. Then, we… just went ahead.” Then the train came. “We didn’t have 60 seconds; we had less than 30.”

Jones’s parents, who lobbied successfully on social media for her death to be acknowledged at the Oscars, where many attendees wore black ribbons on their lapels in her memory, said she had confided she was worried about her superiors’ inexperience. In a letter to the American Society of Cinematographers, Jones’s father wrote: “The industry apparently needs safer film sets, which… needs to start with a rediscovery of its spirituality… If the people in charge of Midnight Rider had properly regarded the lives they controlled on February 20, would they have placed them on that railroad trestle without proper safety measures?”

The producers are now facing multiple lawsuits from Jones’s parents, as well as other cast and crew members, alleging, among other charges, that they had not secured permission to film on the track, but concealed this fact from the rest of the cast and crew. Also being sued is Gregg Allman, who insists he had nothing to do with choosing the train-track location and who had begged producers (eventually successfully) to abandon the film after Jones’s death. Midnight Rider’s director, producer and production manager have now been charged with involuntary manslaughter, and could face up to 10 years in jail.

Naturally, all big studios insist that safety is paramount. “It’s our first priority; we have a safety meeting every single day and insurance people are always on set saying: ‘You can’t do this’, or ‘Try this another way’,” says one producer.

“It’s far cheaper to carry out advance checks than to risk a multimillion-dollar lawsuit or insurance premiums tripling. Everyone on set is always telling each other: ‘This is a hot spot’; ‘Watch your back.’ Assistant directors, who are mainly in charge of safety, get very angry with anyone who, for example, is fooling around during a stunt, and ban them from set.”

Despite this, many crew members tell of safety concerns being overlooked, with all but the most powerful afraid to speak out. “I complained about safety standards with my manager and he didn’t speak to me for the rest of the shoot, probably because he was covering his own back,” says the crew member who fell from scaffolding. “This was last year and since then I haven’t worked. In an industry where nearly everyone is self-employed you daren’t stick your neck out.”

“It’s absolutely true that the nature of freelance employment means no one wants to be a troublemaker,” says Martin Spence. “But, in my experience, those who do stand up and say ‘No’ gain a lot of credibility. There are idiots out there, but there are also decent producers, who will respect that.”


Recently, a video went viral from the British set of a low-budget film He Who Dares 2. It appeared to show a flying door narrowly missing an actress after an explosion. Message boards were filled with anonymous posts from film workers describing similarly dangerous incidents they’d experienced or witnessed, not to mention numerous complaints about low or no pay, and appalling working conditions.

“I can’t stress enough how quickly things can go wrong on a set,” wrote one. “People constantly get hurt, when everyone is doing their best to create a safe environment. When someone, especially higher-ups, decide to be reckless it becomes like playing Hacky Sack with a bag of unstable chemicals.” The film’s producer promptly had his lawyers take the clip down, and reportedly threatened crew members tempted to talk with legal action.

In the UK, BECTU is concerned by a proposed parliamentary bill that would leave most self-employed people, including those in the film industry, completely uncovered by any health and safety regulations.

“Right now [the Health and Safety Executive] virtually never makes proactive spot checks on set,” says Spence. “I’m sure they’d like to but they don’t have as many inspectors as they’d need. The only time they visit is when there’s been a near miss or some other incident.”

While some crew members demand statutory shorter hours, others rely on overtime earned during long days. Others worry that lobbying for tighter regulations will ­simply result in even more filming being outsourced abroad. “Already no one wants to shoot in the US, because it’s so unionised and overtime rates are so high,” says one director.

On some occasions, budget restraints have forced actors to perform stunts themselves. In 1988, British actor Roy Kinnear died after falling from a horse in The Return of the Musketeers. Kinnear, 54, expected a double to be used for the riding sequences but, at the last minute, he wrote to his wife, Carmel: “Oh, gosh, darling. I’ve been called on to do a stunt.”

“Actors are inclined to take undue risks with their lives,” Carmel said later. “They are frightened. Time is money. They don’t want to hold production up. They don’t want to look silly in front of other people.” The film’s director, Richard Lester, whose credits included Superman II and A Hard Day’s Night, was so distressed he retired from film. The movie, however, was still released.

Indeed, no matter how tragic the fallout, the show nearly always goes on. Actor Brandon Lee died aged 28 while filming The Crow in 1993, when he shot himself with a gun meant to fire blanks. The film’s firearms expert had earlier been sent home. Filming continued, with Lee’s fiancée’s and mother’s blessing, using a stunt double, and it became a cult hit – in part because of the ghoulish associations.

The Twilight Zone movie was released to mixed reviews and only modest financial success. Its director, John Landis, who was eventually cleared of involuntary manslaughter, went on to direct hits such as Trading Places and Coming to America. (The courtroom was especially charged – at one point the prosecutor hissed “murderer” at Landis as he walked past.) But the film’s co-producer Steven Spielberg ended a long friendship with him, saying the accident “made me grow up a little more” and left everyone who worked on the movie “sick to the centre of our souls… No movie is worth dying for.”

At Pinewood, concern about Ford’s health coexisted with worry about the millions of dollars potentially at stake if the shoot was delayed for lack of its biggest star. Some speculated Ford would be filmed from the waist up, and, in the meantime, producers frantically altered schedules to keep filming on time.

“The phrase you hear all the time is, ‘Just get the job done’,” says the man who survived the scaffolding fall. He has had only one safety briefing in five years of working on big shoots. “I nearly died on a huge-budget movie but there was no, ‘How are you?’ just, ‘How soon can you be back at work?’ It’s showbusiness; the cameras don’t stop turning for anything.”

Original Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/film/10938938/Hollywoods-health-and-safety-nightmare.html

error: © 2018 Olympus Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved.