A British production company was fined £1.6 million ($2 million) on Wednesday for an accident on the set of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” that caused injuries to Harrison Ford. The Disney-owned company, Foodles Production, had previously pleaded guilty to two counts of breaking health and safety rules.
While rehearsing a scene at London’s Pinewood Studios, Ford was crushed by the hydraulic door of the Millennium Falcon, which broke his left leg. The actor underwent surgery to screw together the fractured tibia and fibula bones in his leg, and plastic surgery on a “deep laceration” to his left hand.
Prosecutor Andrew Marshall said that when Ford walked through the door, he believed the set was not live and the door would not close, because it hadn’t done so during previous rehearsals.
Judge Francis Sheridan, passing sentence at Aylesbury Crown Court in the U.K., said: “The greatest failing of all on behalf of the company is a lack of communication, a lack because, if you have a risk assessment and you do not communicate it, what is the point of having one? That is the most serious breach here.”
Sheridan added: “If only they had included Mr. Ford in all the discussions, he might have at least been alert to the dangers that he had to avoid.”
The legal action was taken by the U.K. government’s Health and Safety Executive. HSE’s divisional director Tim Galloway said: “This incident was foreseeable and preventable and could have resulted in more serious injury or even death. The power and speed of the door was such that, had Mr. Ford or anyone else been struck on the head by the door as it closed, they might easily have been killed.”