Top 10 Worst Incidents on Hollywood Film Sets

Safety in Hollywood took over the headlines last month when Disney-owned Foodles Production (UK) Ltd was fined £1.6m as a result of Harrison’s Ford leg injury during the filming of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Lack of communication has been cited here as the main offender by Judge Francis Sheridan, as the control measures in the risk assessment were not passed on to the actor himself “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?”.

This surprised us, with multi-million dollar budgets and a huge number of actors, extras, producers and crew on hand; you’d expect the Health & Safety on Hollywood sets to be pretty top notch. Sadly, this is not always the case – we take a look at the Top 10 Worst Incidents on Hollywood Film Sets.

1. The Dark Knight – 2008

Special effects technician, Conway Wickliffe, lost his life during a scene involving a moving stunt car.

2. XXX – 2002

Vin Diesel’s stunt double, Harry L. O’Connor, lost his life when rappelling down a line and hit a bridge.

3. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I – 2010

Daniel Radcliffe’s stunt double, David Holmes, suffered a broken neck and was paralysed from the neck down after being flung against a wall whilst filming a flying stunt.

4. Top Gun – 1986

Stunt pilot, Art Scholl, died after crashing his plane into the Pacific Ocean whilst shooting for the classic Tom Cruise film.

5. Hangover Part II – 2011

Stunt double, Scott McClean, successfully sued Warner Bros. for damages after suffering brain damage and physical injuries during a stunt where he leant out of a vehicle and his head hit another car.

6. The Expendables – 2010

The action-packed blockbusters was riddled with accidents including an incident involving an exploding rubber boat which killed one stunt performer and seriously injured another.

7. Rocky IV – 1985

Another Sly film, the director actually suggested to Dolph Lundgren that they box for real, and the Swedish hardman hit Stallone so hard he was sent to ICU for almost a week.

8. The Twilight Zone: The Movie – 1983

Tragically, actor Vic Morrow, and child star Myca Dinh Le, were both decapitated by a low-flying helicopter whilst filming a scene for this science fiction classic.

9. The Return of the Musketeers – 1989

Actor, Roy Kinnear, fell from his horse and suffered a broken pelvis. Sadly he died of complications in a Spanish hospital the following day.

10. Noah’s Ark – 1928

When the set was purposefully flooded with 15,000 tons of water, three people drowned, one lost a leg and another 12 suffered serious injuries.

These incidents demonstrate the importance of effective verbal and nonverbal communication skills in the workplace. Whatever sort of business you are, the fundamental aim of good Health and Safety management is to prevent people’s safety from being jeopardised, or even worse.


The information contained in this blog article has been created for marketing purposes and is not official guidance and should not be used as a substitute for official Food Safety, Fire Safety and Health & Safety advice. Shield Safety take no responsibility if the information in the blog article is used to form part of a safety management system or used to form part of any legal or regulatory compliance for your business. For official guidance and to engage with Shield Safety services please do call our team on 020 3740 3744 or email

Sign up for our blog


Shield Safety Group

Blogs, Health & Safety

Latest insights

22 hours | 3 mins
Continuous Improvement: Why Trust Is The Bedrock Of Excellence In Hospitality

In the hospitality industry, nothing is static. New innovations are always emerging, customer expectations evolving, […]

Read post
4 weeks | 3 mins
From Risk to Re-assurance: 5 Tips For Transforming Your Business’ Allergy Policy

When you work in the hospitality industry, ensuring the safety of every guest is paramount […]

Read post
4 weeks | 2 mins
Essential Safety Tips for Managing Allergies

Allergies affect millions worldwide, impacting people of all ages and backgrounds. In the UK alone, […]

Read post

Keep in touch