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The Broadway play, “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” has recently run into more than just technical difficulties and scathing reviews. The show, which has already cost producers more than sixty-five million, has also just racked up $12,600 in federal fines. The U.S. Office of Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) concluded its investigation into the play’s mishaps on March 4, finding that “employees were exposed to the hazards of falls or being struck during flying routines because of improperly adjusted or unsecured safety harnesses.”
The play first ran into trouble in December, when stunt man Christopher Tierney fell twenty-five feet during a performance, suffering broken ribs and a skull fracture. Three actors have also sustained various, less serious injuries. The New York Department of Labor responded to these incidents by citing the production for two safety violations in February. Unlike the OSHA violations, the state safety citations carry no fines.
Hopefully the show will get its act together in time for its scheduled March 15 opening night (though some are seriously questioning the likelihood of that possibility). And hopefully the producers will be about to recoup their significant investment. But if you happen to see one of the actors, it is probably a bad idea to tell them to “break a leg.”
– Emily Larish
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