Star Wars firm admits charges over Harrison Ford’s injuries
Foodles Production (UK) Ltd, the production company behind Star Wars has pleaded guilty to two of four criminal charges, following an incident in June 2014 in which actor Harrison Ford was struck by a heavy hydraulic metal door on the set of the Millennium Falcon at Pinewood Studios.
Mr Ford suffered a broken leg and other injuries during the filming of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens.
By law, employers must take reasonable steps to protect workers – this is as true on a film set as a factory floor. – HSE
Foodles Production (UK) Ltd is the company responsible for producings and under health and safety law for managing the risks created during production.
The company, a subsidiary of Disney, admitted two of four criminal charges at Milton Keynes Magistrates’ Court. The other two charges were withdrawn. The company accepted it failed to protect actors and staff.
In a statement, Foodles said it had provided “full co-operation” through the HSE investigation, saying: “The safety of our cast and crew was always a top priority throughout the production,”
Prosecuting, Andrew Marshall told the court Ford had gone through the door on the set and hit a button before starting to walk back through it, believing the set was not live and that it would not close.
But it was remotely operated by another person, and as Ford passed underneath it, he was hit in the pelvic area and pinned to the ground.
Mr Marshall said there was a “risk of death”.
“It could have killed somebody. The fact that it didn’t was because an emergency stop was activated,” he said.
A spokesman for the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) compared the power of the door’s drive system “to the weight of a small car”.
“This was a foreseeable incident,” he said.
The company will be sentenced at Aylesbury Crown Court on 22 August.