The producers of “Rust” were given the “maximum fine allowed” for violating gun safety procedures.
The New Mexico Department of the Environment’s Office of Occupational Health and Safety (OHSB) has launched a production investigation following the tragic death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, who passed away in October 2021 when a gun held by lead actor Alec Baldwin exploded and they have now issued the “highest level citation” to those responsible for the film, along with a $136,793 fine.
The OHSB said in its report: “This is the highest citation level and the maximum fine allowed by state law in New Mexico.
“The report concludes that Rust Movie Productions, LLC management knew that gun safety procedures were not being followed on set and showed a clear disregard for employee safety by failing to review the work practices and take corrective action.
“The OHSB found that Rust willfully violated occupational health and safety law by showing a blatant disregard for employee safety and exposing those employees to the serious dangers associated with the use of firearms.
“Members of ‘Rust’ management knew that gun safety procedures were not being followed on set and acted with blatant disregard for employee safety by failing to review work practices, adhere to film industry standards for gun safety and take corrective action.”
According to TMZ, the report highlighted two other misfires that occurred during filming prior to the fatal tragedy, and the OHSB felt they were largely unaddressed by the official security point among the team, which they named assistant director Dave Halls.
The document notes that several crew members expressed concern about these misfires, as well as other weapon-related issues, but no training or other corrective measures were put in place to address the issues.
The report also accused Halls of breaking protocol by handling the weapon and passing it to Alec without consulting a specialist during or after loading the weapon, and suggested the producers had no system in place. to ensure that real bullets do not end up on the board.
A representative from OHSB said: “Management had multiple opportunities to take corrective action and chose not to. Following these failures, director Joel Souza and cinematographer Halyna Hutchins were seriously injured. Halyna Hutchins succumbed to her injuries.”
Under federal requirements, Rust Movie Productions, LLC was given 15 days to pay the penalty and provide the OHSB with a corrective action certification, or alternatively, to dispute the citation with the Health and Safety Review Board. workplace safety.
In February, the cinematographer’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Alec – who insisted he hadn’t pulled the trigger on the gun – seven other producers and various members crew, including gunsmiths Hannah Gutierrez Reed and Seth Kenney.
A criminal investigation is also still ongoing.