The company that produced the movie ‘Rust’ was fined about $137,000 by the New Mexico Department of Occupational Health and Safety for “intentional and serious” violation of safety procedures on set. The violations resulted in the accidental shooting death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins in October of last year.
The fine, which is the maximum allowable, follows the six-month investigation into the circumstances that led to the accidental shooting, fired by actor Alec Baldwin, 63, that killed Halyna and wounded director Joel Souza.
State Environmental Cabinet Secretary James Kenney said there had been serious management failures with more than enough evidence to suggest that if standard industry practices were followed, Halyna Hutching’s fatal shooting and Joel Souza’s serious injury would not would have occurred. “This is a complete failure by the employer to follow nationally recognized protocols that keep employees safe,” Kenney said.
Hutchins and Souza were hit by a bullet fired from a gun used by Alec Baldwin on set, who said he was told it was not loaded. He also claimed that he did not pull the trigger and that he must have failed to point the gun at the camera during rehearsals at Bonanza Creek Ranch, outside Santa Fe, in the United States.
The report concluded that management of Rust Movie Productions LLC knew that firearm safety procedures were not being followed on set and demonstrated complete disregard for employee safety by failing to review work practices and take corrective action.”
“Rust Movie Productions LLC was cited for simple indifference to the recognized risks associated with the use of firearms on set that resulted in fatality, serious injury and unsafe working conditions.”
Pursuant to federal requirements, Rust Movie Productions LLC has 15 business days after receiving the summons to pay the fine and provide the OHSB – which administers the Occupational Safety and Health Administration program in the State of New Mexico – the action certification. corrective action or contest the citation in the Occupational Health and Safety Review Commission.
Should production of the film resume in the future, Rust Movie Productions LLC must mitigate the violations mentioned in this citation before resuming operations.
“Employees should speak up about unsafe workplace conditions or report them anonymously to us,” said OHSB bureau chief Robert Genoway. “As a reminder, it is illegal for any employer to retaliate against any employee who alleges a breach of workplace safety.”
The investigation covered 1,560 hours of work, 14 interviews and a review of 566 documents.
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