- by Jacob Coakley
in Theatre Buzz
The wheels of bureaucracy grind slowly, but they grind nonetheless. U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has slapped Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark with three “serious” violations based on four separate incidents on the show last year. The term “serious” is used when there is “substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.” OSHA found that actors were exposed to hazards of falling or being struck during flying routines—which seems to be in direct reference to Christopher Tierney’s fall on December 20, 2010, as well as Natalie Mendoza’s accident on Nov. 28 when she was struck in the head with a rope, receiving a concussion. The fines come with $12,600 in proposed fines. Full OSHA statement is below.
US Department of Labor's OSHA cites Spider-Man Broadway musical production company following injuries to cast members
NEW YORK – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued 8 Legged Productions LLC, the production company for the Broadway stage production of "Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark," three serious violations of workplace safety standards following four separate incidents late last year that resulted in injuries to cast members of the musical.
OSHA began its investigation of the incidents that took place at the Foxwoods Theater, located at 214 West 43rd St. in Manhattan, after receiving a referral from the New York State Department of Labor. The incidents resulting in employee injury happened on Sept. 25, Oct. 19, Nov. 28 and Dec. 20, 2010.
From the investigation, OSHA alleges that employees were exposed to the hazards of falls or being struck during flying routines because of improperly adjusted or unsecured safety harnesses. An additional fall hazard stemmed from unguarded open-side floors that lacked fall protection. Finally, the company failed to shield employees from being struck by moving overhead rigging components.
These conditions resulted in the issuance of the three serious citations, with a total of $12,600 in proposed fines. OSHA issues a serious citation when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
The employer, 8 Legged Productions LLC, has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to meet with the OSHA area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The inspection was conducted by OSHA's Manhattan Area Office; telephone 212-620-3200. To report workplace incidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742).
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.