OSCHA declared The Night Rider tragedy preventable, where Sarah Jones, a camera assistant was killed on a train trestle, and others were injured. Film Allman, the production company, knew they didn’t have permission to film on the tracks, that it was a “live” track and yet did nothing to prevent or protect their employees. In addition, they later found that the production company also misrepresented the facts in court–in other words, they lied. In addition to not having proper permits or safety measures in place, the crew wasn’t informed of the dangers of the location shoot in advance and there were no medical personnel on set. The articles are long but informative. Every parent whose child works on a location shoot should read them to underscore the importance of putting the actors’ safety first, even if it means losing a job.
The final paragraph of the article is chilling.
The death of Sarah Jones and injury to several others started a movement in the industry to speak up and blow the whistle on any safety violations they see on set. However, injuries and accidents continue due to the long hours of sleep deprivation, people are still getting hurt or killed, and workers still tell us that they are afraid to speak up for fear of repercussions.
Parents have told us they are sometimes afraid to speak up for fear their child will be replaced on a job. It’s also highly unlikely a child would be asked or allowed to take that kind of physical risk, and yet risks can be more subtle. If you are on set with your child and you aren’t sure if something is safe, ask a studio teacher immediately for verification. There are also numbers you can call to report a safety issue anonymously. For more information on protecting your child on a job, read this.