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Harrison Ford may also claim benefits after workplace injuries

Just like any other company in California, filmmakers are responsible for the safety of their employees, including actors and actresses. They have the same responsibility to assess workplaces, identify safety hazards and then deal with hazards to prevent workplace injuries. Although theirs is a world of make-believe, injuries can delay productions and may lead to temporary or permanent disabilities for the stars of the production -- or worse.

While shooting some scenes of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" on location abroad, Harrison Ford suffered a fractured leg when he was struck by a moving steel door on the set. That country's authority equal to our Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigated the accident and cited the production company. The investigators determined that the company failed to identify the dangerous door during a risk assessment, thereby exposing workers to injury hazards.

Two other incidents in recent years claimed the lives of two workers in the entertainment industry. A 21-year-old woman was killed in 2014 in an explosion while she was checking the pyrotechnics inventory in preparation for a show. Also in that year, a 27-year-old assistant camera operator was killed during filming on a train track.

Just like employees in any other industry, workers in the entertainment industry may pursue claims for workers' compensation benefits claims if they have suffered workplace injuries. Similarly, the surviving families of those who lost their lives on the job may file claims for death benefits. The California workers' compensation insurance program typically provides compensation for medical and/or end-of-life expenses along with a percentage of lost income which will be paid for a predetermined period.

Source: safety.blr.com, "In a world of make-believe, the hazards are very real", April 26, 2016

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