Producers of the upcoming film The Lone Ranger have been fined over $60,000 by a government health and safety agency resulting from an investigation into the on-set drowning death of a crew member last year.
California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health issued several fines against the film’s production company, Silver Bullet Productions Inc., claiming numerous safety measures were violated in relation to the fatal incident.
Crew member Mike Bridger, a 48-year-old welder and diver, reportedly drowned while preparing a water tank for an underwater shoot at Polsa Rosa Ranch last September.
Although Bridger reportedly drowned after suffering a heart attack while inside the deep water tank, the state health agency’s investigation revealed the absence of several safety standards which may have helped prevent the tragedy.
According to a report issued last week by the Division of Occupational Safety and Health, producers of The Lone Rangerwere fined a total of $61,445 for various safety violations.
Citations from the agency reportedly pointed to Silver Bullet Productions’ failure to obtain a medical examination of the diver to assure physical competency, lack of a standby diver during the incident, and allowing Bridger to dive without the use of a safety tether.
The report allegedly states, “The employer failed to ensure that all employees (diver team members) engaged in a diving operation to clean a deep pool/water tank located at the Polsa Rosa Ranch were trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation, diver rescue techniques and diving related first aid.”
The agency also reportedly noted the producers failure to maintain safety and health training documentation for all employees and lack of a supervisor to oversee all matters relating to the diving operation.
The Lone Ranger, set to hit the big screen in July, reportedly suffered additional safety incidents throughout its production. The film’s star, actor Johnny Depp, was allegedly dragged roughly 25 yards after being thrown from a horse on-set. While Depp walked away from the incident relatively unscathed, a stuntman with the production was allegedly injured during a separate instance.
At this time, The Lone Ranger producers have not publicly commented on the fines issued against them.