Sarah Jones, was a 27-year-old camera assistant when she was killed while trying to escape an oncoming freight train during the filming of a scene on Feb. 20, 2014, for the movie “Midnight Rider,” a biopic based on the life of musician Gregg Allman. Eight other workers were injured.
OSHA cited Film Allman LLC in August 2014 for one willful and one serious safety violation for exposing employees to struck-by and fall hazards.
Judge Sharon D. Calhoun of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (OSHRC) upheld those citations on Sept. 15.
“Bad management decisions have real and lasting consequences, and when those decisions involve safety, the consequences can be tragic,” said Kurt Petermeyer, OSHA’s regional administrator for the southeast. “The death of Sarah Jones is particularly disheartening because it was entirely preventable.”
Petermeyer went on to say that Film Allman’s management “blatantly disregarded their obligation to ensure the safety of their crew and cast. They were fully aware that the railroad tracks were live, and that they did not have permission to film there. “
He added that while the OSHRC’s decision cannot correct or reverse the events of February 20, 2014, “we hope that it will serve as a reminder to the film industry that safety has an important, necessary role on every set and in every workplace.”