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Workplace accidents on movie sets do not get much publicity

A 65-year-old truck driver left his birthday party to return to a California studio to haul a load of equipment to the secret filming of the first installment of "The Avengers." The Vietnam veteran had gotten only a few hours sleep when he was called to make the delivery. While preparing the load, the man fell to his death from the back of the truck. He was one of 43 people who have died in workplace accidents on film sets in the United States over the past 25 years.

The tragedy of injuries and deaths on movie sets is widely unreported unless it involves an actor. The deaths of actors Brandon Lee and Vic Morrow in film set mishaps, and the set malfunction that broke Harrison Ford's leg made headlines. However, even major accidents do not always make it to the database of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

When accidents on the job are the result of lax safety measures or negligence, OSHA may impose a fine. Movie companies are typically fined a small fraction of the amount the movie brings in at the box office. In fact, almost half of the fines levied by OSHA for injuries or deaths on movie sets were reduced. After the death of the truck driver, the owner of the company filming "The Avengers" paid a $745 fine.

Workplace accidents on a California movie set may have the same results as fatal accidents on many job sites: loss of wages from a breadwinner and the likely devastation of a family losing a loved one. The daughter of the truck driver recalls the grueling process of obtaining workers' compensation to cover the loss of her father's income. Having an attorney to assist one during that process may make it less stressful and ensure that one receives the maximum compensation he or she deserves.

Source: klfy.com, "Movie set accidents remain largely hidden in an industry where virtually every success is touted", Anthony McCartney, Nov. 18, 2016

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