The entertainment industry employs 2.23 million people, who earn an average of $20.98 per hour. That doesn’t seem nearly enough to compensate actors and film crews for the number of injuries and fatalities they endure. In 2014 (the last year data is published), 90 people tragically died on the job. 4.1 out of every 100 workers were injured.
Common Hazards in Filming Locations
Everyone – from actors to technicians and film crews- face dangers on a movie set. If sets are poorly designed or built, they can crumble, causing injuries. Filming outdoors means workers are exposed to power lines that can sag or catch fire. People slip and fall, sometimes with tragic consequences as we wrote about during the filming of Red Cliff. Using tools improperly can cost workers their finger or arm.
While not all injuries are fatal or life-threatening, most have long-term consequences. That’s why we support the work of OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) to make our workplaces safer. We’d encourage all employers to file a report with OSHA, as required by law. They will investigate to determine the cause of the accident and ensure that all safety requirements are being met.
What Happens if I’m Injured on Set
IF you’ve suffered an injury at work, the first step is to get medical help and call 911. It’s also important to immediately file a claim and report the injury to your superiors. All workers – whether independent contractors or employees – are covered in some way by the law. Employees are often covered by the state’s workers’ compensation law. This means that the filmmakers, the studio or owners must take out the appropriate insurance policies to ensure if someone is injured, the cost of their medical bills, recovery and long-term nursing care, is covered.
However, this doesn’t mean the insurer will automatically approve your claim or pay the bills in a timely manner. In serious cases, victims may even suffer injuries that prevent them from working. In these cases, hiring a workers’ comp lawyer can protect your rights to benefits, make sure you are receiving the correct workers compensation rate — and give you the freedom to focus on your recovery.