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HSE to prosecute film company after Star Wars incident

Date:
11 February 2016

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has today informed Foodles Production (UK) Ltd that it will be prosecuted over an incident in which actor Harrison Ford was seriously injured during the filming of Star Wars: The Forces Awakens.

Foodles Production (UK) Ltd is based in Queen Caroline Street, London, and will appear at High Wycombe Magistrates Court on 12 May 2016 to face four charges.

Mr Ford suffered a broken leg and other injuries when he was struck by a heavy hydraulic metal door on the set of the Millennium Falcon. The incident happened on 12 June 2014 at Pinewood Studios.

A spokesman for HSE said:

“HSE has today informed Foodles Production (UK) Ltd that it will be prosecuted over four alleged breaches of health and safety law. The charges relate to an incident during filming of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, which left Harrison Ford with serious injuries after he was hit by a heavy hydraulic door.

“By law, employers must take reasonable steps to protect workers – this is as true on a film set as a factory floor. We have investigated thoroughly and believe that we have sufficient evidence to bring the case to court.”

Foodles Production (UK) Ltd is the company responsible for producing Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens and under health and safety law for managing the risks created during production.

Notes to Editors

  1. The four alleged breaches are:
    • Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, which states: “It shall be the duty of every employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all his employees.”
    • Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, which states: “It shall be the duty of every employer to conduct his undertaking in such a way as to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that persons not in his employment who may be affected thereby are not thereby exposed to risks to their health or safety.”
    • Regulation 3(1) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, which states “Every employer shall make a suitable and sufficient assessment of (a)the risks to the health and safety of his employees to which they are exposed whilst they are at work; and (b) the risks to the health and safety of persons not in his employment arising out of or in connection with the conduct by him of his undertaking, for the purpose of identifying the measures he needs to take to comply with the requirements and prohibitions imposed upon him by or under the relevant statutory provisions and by Part II of the Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations 1997.”
    • Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998, which states: “Every employer shall ensure that measures are taken in accordance with paragraph (2) which are effective (a) to prevent access to any dangerous part of machinery or to any rotating stock-bar; or (b) to stop the movement of any dangerous part of machinery or rotating stock-bar before any part of a person enters a danger zone.”
  2.  Now that criminal proceedings have commenced your attention is drawn to the fact that the provisions of the Contempt of Court Act apply to this matter. You will understand that it is not appropriate for HSE to give media interviews until court proceedings are concluded.
  3.  You are advised to check the time and date of the hearing with the Court nearer the time to ensure that the case has not been put back.
  4.  The Code for Crown Prosecutors sets out the principles for prosecutors to follow when they make enforcement decisions. HSE’s approach to prosecutions is set out in its enforcement policy statement.

 

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