Every year, workers on both sides of the camera are maimed, burned, break bones and even die striving to deliver entertainment that packs multiplexes and commands top TV ratings. Injuries come not just from obvious risks such as stunts and explosives, but from falls off ladders, toppled equipment and machines without safety guards. Yet in an industry where virtually everything is tallied and every success is touted, set accidents remain largely hidden and the consequences usually amount to mere thousands of dollars in fines paid out of multimillion-dollar budgets.
In a package that moved in advance on Thursday for use beginning at 12:01 a.m. EST Monday, Associated Press writer Anthony McCartney reveals that since 1990, at least 43 people have died on sets in the U.S. and more than 150 have been left with life-altering injuries — numbers derived by combing through data from workplace and aviation safety investigations, court records and news accounts. And those figures almost certainly are undercounts.
Internationally, at least 37 people have died in filming accidents since 2000, and many more have been seriously injured.
The package, slugged BC-US–DANGERS ON THE SET, includes photos, video components and an interactive, all of which will move Monday. An abridged version of the main story is also offered, along with the following sidebars:
— BC-US–DANGERS ON THE SET-MAJOR ACCIDENTS — A rundown of several key set accidents in the United States that have influenced safety in the industry. 528 words, photos.
— BC-US–DANGERS ON THE SET-INTERNATIONAL DEATHS — A list of fatal accidents that have occurred during international film and television productions. 330 words, photos.
— BC-US–DANGERS ON THE SET-BY THE NUMBERS — A breakdown of the nearly 200 serious film and television industry accidents since 1990. 262 words, photos.
Questions? Please contact West Coast Entertainment Editor Steve Loeper at [email protected] or 213-346-3135.