Production Company Pleads Guilty to Injuring Harrison Ford

It’s possible that Harrison Ford could have been killed when a hydraulic door from the Millennium Falcon landed on the actor on the set of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) established that Mr Ford had walked through a door on the set of the Millennium Falcon, pressing a button as he did so as he thought the set was not yet live. As he then walked back through the door – the drive system of which was comparable to the weight of a small car – it closed on him, pinning him to the ground. If an emergency stop button had not been activated by another person, the injuries sustained could have been much worse.

5 Tips to Ensure You Communicate H&S Risks Effectively

  1. Undertake a detailed risk assessment of all of your work processes, to identify where your obvious (and hidden) risks are, and establish the necessary controls needed to mitigate the risks.
  2. Create a comprehensive induction procedure which covers the findings of your risk assessments and the key elements of your policies and procedures.
  3. Make sure you have a clear process in place to communicate existing (and new) risks to staff and contractors. Undertake daily briefings when risks are regularly changing, such as on busy construction sites, and utilise bulletin/message boards within mess rooms or similar areas. Make it one person’s job to co-ordinate the cascading of information throughout the company.
  4. When giving out vital health and safety information, ask those receiving it to sign to say they have both received and understood it – this way you can also be sure you have captured everyone that needs to be briefed.
  5. Provide written working instructions and safe systems of work for all to follow, and where necessary, put up signs and warning notices as a visual aid, for example, for areas which should not be accessed or equipment that should not be touched.

As this case highlights, it is so important that you identify the risks within your premises and ensure that everyone on site – be they staff, contactor or visitor – knows what and where these hazards are, and how you are managing them.

May the force be with you!

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