The production company filming the movie biography of musician Gregg Allman is facing $74,900 in OSHA fines for safety violations that allegedly led to the death of a 27-year-old crew member.
OSHA cited Film Allman LLC of Pasadena, Calif., for one willful violation and one serious safety violation, alleging that the company exposed crew members to struck-by and fall hazards.
On Feb. 20, camera assistant Sarah Jones was killed and eight other workers were injured while trying to escape an oncoming freight train during the filming of a scene for “Midnight Rider,” a biopic based on Allman’s life.
“Employers are responsible for taking the necessary precautions to protect workers’ health and safety, and the entertainment industry is no exception,” OSHA Administrator David Michaels said. “It is unacceptable that Film Allman LLC knowingly exposed their crew to moving trains while filming on a live track and railroad trestle.”
The incident occurred during the filming of a scene on the tracks of the Doctortown train trestle in rural Georgia that spans the Altamaha River.
During filming, crew members saw a CSX train heading toward them. Crew members immediately started exiting the tracks, trying to remove set pieces and get off the trestle. However, they were unable to outrun the oncoming train.
Jones was killed and eight other crew members were injured by debris when the train hit a hospital bed being used as a set piece, according to OSHA.
“Their failure to develop a safety plan to prevent such hazards, including obtaining permission from the rail owner to use the tracks for filming, led to the death of one crew member and injuries to eight other employees,” said Kurt Petermeyer, OSHA’s regional administrator for the Southeast.
The director and producers of the movie also are facing involuntary manslaughter charges in Georgia. Filming shut down after the incident.
Film Allman LLC has 15 business days from receipt of its citations to comply or contest OSHA’s findings.