Volunteer falls from film set, may seek damages

After falling from a film set, one volunteer costume designer, who suffered serious personal injuries in the tumble, may seek personal injury compensation from the National Film and Television School.

The unnamed thirty four year old woman, whose identity was withheld for privacy reasons, had been working as an unpaid helper at the school at the time of the incident that may lead to an accident claim.  The woman had been making some last minute alterations to the costume of an actor when she tumbled two and a quarter metres from the pinnacle of a set of mock stairs.

The volunteer sustained severe, life changing injuries in her fall.  The vertebrae in her back fractured, leaving the woman with permanent paralysis from the waist down, according to injury solicitors familiar with the case.

The Health and Safety Executive launched an investigation into the incident.  Investigators for the HSE found that actors, set designers, and students alike were all at risk of falling from the mock stairs due to the fact that there was no edge protection in place.

The school, which provides education in the art of television and film production to students, admitted to breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act at a hearing at High Wycombe Magistrates’ Court recently.  Located in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire on station Road, the Beaconsfield Film Studios was ordered to pay a £17,500 fine and must also pay a total of £4,787 in court costs for their role in the woman’s severe injuries.

In the wake of the hearing, one HSE inspector stated that the woman’s injuries were clearly preventable if only the school had put a safe system of working in place.

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