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Last week the HSE informed Foodles Production (UK) Ltd, a production company involved in the making of the recent Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens film that they would  prosecute over the incident on set which injured Harrison Ford.

The Hollywood celebrity suffered a broken leg and other injuries when he was struck by a heavy hydraulic metal door on the set of the Millennium Falcon at Pine Studios.

An HSE spokesperson said “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.”

The prosecution is founded on the breach of a number of health and safety regulations which form the toolkit which we use to pursue compensation for our clients on a daily basis. Health and Safety is equally pertinent to the Hollywood Celebrities as it is to the factory workers, janitors, and office workers.

Last week we urged employers to give up indifference to health and safety for lent. This recent example shows how far the implications of breaches of Health and Safety Regulations go and the poor attitude employers have. The movie had a $200 million budget and grossed $1 billion in just 12 days. There was therefore no shortage of cash, yet the production company still cut corners with health and safety. The result: If someone suffering a painful injury is not bad enough, their leading man was injured costing numerous productions days. Each day lost cost 6 figure sums. Harrison Ford was paid $20 million to be in the movie, yet they were still indifferent to his safety.

All employers have a duty to protect their employees regardless of their budgets. If Celebrities who have an estimated net worth of 210 million dollars are being injured due to indifference then the problem is far more challenging for everyone else.

Mr Ford will likely be able to afford to pay for the right type of assistance to get him back on his feet and it’s unlikely the production company will grumble about his medical bills and payment for days he loses as a result. He will still receive his $20 million regardless.

In most cases we deal with, however, employees will not be paid whilst they are off work and few can afford specialist rehabilitation services to aid recovery.  That’s where we come in, it’s always worthwhile having a specialist lawyer like ourselves to help arrange treatment, recover lost wages and obtain compensation.

Employers and insurers case about profits so only by tirelessly fighting and pursuing cases where injury results from indifference to health and safety can this sort of attitude be broken down. Can we ever hope that employers will wake up and see the effects of their sheer indifference to the health safety and wellbeing of those they employ…maybe in a galaxy far away!?

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