Harrison Ford might have ‘easily been killed’ on Star Wars 7 set
Actor Harrison Ford was lucky to be alive after his leg was crushed in a hydraulic door on the set of ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’. The production company responsible has been fined £1.6m after the Aylesbury Crown Court found major lapses in on-set safety where there were no automatic fail-safe systems in place, and a prop operator was the only person who could stop the hydraulic door.
Thankfully for Ford, the prop operator was in close proximity and was able to manually activate the emergency stop that prevented further injury to Ford. He was then airlifted to hospital in Oxford following the incident with a broken ankle that needed several months of recovery time.
The Court noted that the power of the hydraulic door could have been fatal to anyone. Harrison Ford had a lucky escape and the incident, which was investigated by Health and Safety England, revealed just how close he was to further injury if no one had intervened so quickly. HSE noted that steps could have been taken to prevent the close call and concluded that it:
“..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 had been struck on the head by the door as it closed, they might easily have been killed.”
Part of the set of the Millennium Falcon at Pinewood Studios, the hydraulic door had the weight of a small car and poor communication meant that Ford was not up-to-speed with the possible on-set dangers involving props.
Following the tragic death of Sarah Jones, many productions have overhauled their on-set safety procedures, however, incidents still occur, including a tragic accident on the set of Jackie Chan’s action film where a boat capsized and a crew member was killed.