OSHA on Broadway: Taking on a superhero (3/4)
March 4, 2011
OSHA 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.
Prior to running afoul of federal safety regulators, the $65 million-plus mega-musical was already plagued by delays, set design issues and various technical challenges, as well as scorching reviews by critics. Director Julie Taymor, whose previous productions include “The Lion King,” described her experience with “Spider-Man” as “a trial by fire.”
OSHA began its investigation of the incidents that took place at the Foxwoods Theater 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.