New York residents may be interested in learning that being a Hollywood actor or movie set employee may be a surprisingly dangerous profession. A report by OSHA claims that work-related accidents for Hollywood employees have increased in recent years.
Despite the high number of successful films from large studios, the industry is filled with more smaller studios with much tighter production budgets. This money crunch has led many studios to skimp on basic safety precautions and other legal responsibilities that protect their employees while on the set. Many movies are shot in relatively dangerous or high-risk locations. A failure to properly prepare the location for shooting can result in avoidable accidents that injure or even kill employees.
An OSHA report outlines several reasons why the risk to production crews on set has increased. The most relevant may be a lack of significant consequences for failing to follow basic legal and safety guidelines. In one case, the managers of a small production studio pled guilty to trespassing and involuntary manslaughter after one of their camera crew members was hit and killed by a train. They had not taken the necessary steps to check the area and obtain permission to use it for filming, and they were fined $74,900. Even the maximum fine of $124,709 represents a small part of the budget for most films.
If an employee suffers work-related injuries due to a violation of safety regulations, then the employee may be entitled to workers' compensation benefits. If there is strong evidence of a willful violation or endangerment of the employee, then they may also discuss the possibilities of a lawsuit with their attorney.