27-year-old camera assistant Sarah Jones lost her life last February while trying to escape an oncoming freight train during the filming of a scene for ‘Midnight Rider’, the biopic based on the life of musician Gregg Allman.
Eight others were also injured on the set.
The U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited Film Allman LLC in August 2014 for one willful and one serious safety violation for exposing employees to struck-by and fall hazards.
Film Allman’s management did not have permission to film there, knew the railroad tracks were active and still allowed the safety of their crew and cast to be put at risk.
Judge Sharon D. Calhoun of OSHA Review Commission upheld those citations on September 15.
Kurt Petermeyer, OSHA’s regional administrator for the Southeast, issued the following statement about the case:
“Bad management decisions have real and lasting consequences, and when those decisions involve safety, the consequences can be tragic. The death of Sarah Jones is particularly disheartening because it was entirely preventable.”
“Film Allman’s management blatantly disregarded their obligation to ensure the safety of their crew and cast. They were fully aware that the railroad tracks were live, and that they did not have permission to film there. While yesterday’s decision cannot correct or reverse the terrible events of February 2014, we hope that it will serve as a reminder to the film industry that safety has an important, necessary role on every set and in every workplace.”