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Company Guilty of Injuring Harrison Ford Await Sentencing

Harrison Ford as Han Solo

Harrison Ford

The production company which caused an accident that injured actor Harrison Ford is awaiting sentencing after it pleaded guilty to two health and safety breaches.

The accident, which happened on set of the most recent Star Wars movie, left Mr Ford pinned to the ground with a broken leg and the accident could have been much worse had a member of film crew not acted quickly in turning off the power to the door driver mechanism.

The door, which was a part of the scenery rather than a genuine access point, was powered with a motor which was far too powerful for the job it was needed to do and should not have been live during rehearsals. While the accident broke the actor’s leg, it was claimed that the door moved with the force of a small car and could have killed anybody it hit. Instead the door hit Mr Ford in the hip and pinned him to the floor until another member of staff on the set was able to switch the power off and release the actor.

Dangerous Equipment

Foodles Production, the company responsible for the building and installation of the door. The company was originally charged with four breaches of Health and Safety legislation, however, two of these charges were incorporated into two overarching charges under sections two and three of the health and safety at work act 1973 which covered employers believed to be endangering the health of an employee and endangering the health of somebody not employed by the company.

Although Foodles accepted responsibility, Angus Withington, mitigating, said that although they company accepted the accident was preventable and it was their fault, the risk wasn’t as bad as the prosecution’s legal team made it appear. The HSE said that it was glad of the guilty plea, but that the incident had been foreseeable. A spokesman said: “The British film industry has a world-renowned reputation for making exceptional films.”

“Managing on-set risks in a sensible and proportionate way for all actors and staff – regardless of their celebrity status – is vital to protecting both on-screen and off-screen talent, as well as protecting the reputation of the industry.”

Rope and Pulley

Speaking in an interview with Jonathan Ross shortly after the incident, Ford said that back when the original trilogy was filmed, the door would have been simply operated by a stage hand with a rope and pulley. “But now we had lots of money and technology and so they built a f—— great hydraulic door which closed at light-speed,”

Nick Perkins of the Door and Hardware Federation said “As this court case shows, owners and all those responsible for powered access systems and equipment could face prosecution in the event of an incident at one of their sites. They should also be aware that installers and maintainers are also bound by criminal legislation to ensure that all work, whether on a new or an existing access system, is safe.”

Foodles Production, a subsidiary of the Disney Corporation admitted responsibility and was due to be sentenced on August 22, however, sentencing won’t happen now until October due to both parties not being ready, according to a court spokesperson.

Security and Style

1The weather’s been a bit up and down this week but we were blessed with a great day to replace an old, patched up and flimsy doors with one of our steel roller shutters.

You can see in the first picture what a mess the door was, the main door was a patched up hotchpotch that had quite probably come off another building all together and had a skirt bolted to the top which wouldn’t keep out a stiff breeze, let alone a determined burglar. The smaller door would barely close either, and was simply held shut with a padlock and hasp. If their insurance assessor had seen the state of it…

So the guys swung into action….

The workshop’s currently half empty but because our client wants to expand their business and increase their stock, they naturally need to improve their security2. You can see in the second photo that all that was holding the doors up was a few narrow box girders attached to a rather flimsy doorpost. So we fixed that. Instead of fitting a shiny new door to sub standard framework, we will always endeavour to install a doorframe that’s up to the job.

The guttering’s still attached to the roof, but you can see the flashing that we fitted that will not onlyimprove security no end, but keep rainwater, drafts and wildlife out. The beauty of these steel shutters is that they offer criminals no chance to get any purchase on the doors. There’s nowhere to attach hooks or chains to pull them open and they can’t be crowbarred open or kicked in either. Added to that, they take up virtually no space and are a breeze to open and close without needing to jump in and out of the van to back it up when making deliveries.

The customer loved it, it looks so much better, just the sight of it makes you feel more secure. The warehouse is now warmer, drier, and overall the new door is a complete success.

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