Injuries: Just part of the job in some industries?

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In November, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its annual report on non-fatal injuries and illnesses suffered by workers on-the-job. Topping the list of injury prone industries were protective services, landscaping and groundskeeping, health care, and transportation and warehousing.

Recent headlines, though, have us thinking that the BLS might have missed a hazardous job category: Performer.

The most recent in a string of accidents involving performers occurred on Monday, when Chris Tierney, an actor and aerial stunt performer in the Broadway production of “Spider-man: Turn Off the Dark” fell 30 feet after the harness he was suspended from malfunctioned. He was rushed to an area hospital and is currently being treated for broken ribs and internal bleeding.

Tierney is the fourth of the show’s actors to be injured on the job in the past few months; two others were hurt during aerial sequences similar to Tierney’s and one suffered a concussion after being hit with equipment while waiting offstage. For now the show will go on, but the seemingly hazardous set has spurned investigations by both the Occupational Health and Safety Administration and the New York state Department of Labor, and has caused some in the theater industry to suggest that the performance’s director is putting lives in danger.

But the set of the big budget musical isn’t the only place performers have been injured in the past few months.

  • In September, 24-year-old Gabriella Cedillo, a stunt woman working on the Indiana set of “Transformers 3,” was injured when a tow cable snapped and came through the windshield of the car she was driving and hit her in the head. Cedillo suffered severe head injuries and brain damage during the accident, prompting her family to file a lawsuit against the filmmakers.
  • Just last week, actor Hugh Jackman was injured on the set of the Oprah Winfrey show, after hitting the brake too late on the zip-line he was sliding down, causing him to crash into a lighting rig.
  • Musician-turned-actor Justin Timberlake sustained a muscle injury in early December while performing a stunt on the set of his new movie “Now.” While the injury wasn’t serious, it was bad enough that production on the film had to be halted.
  • In July, singer Pink suffered minor injuries after a fall during an aerial sequence at one of her concerts.

So, what do you think? Are better safety regulations and considerations needed for these performers or is it just a part of the job? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.

For more on dangerous jobs, see:

Today’s most dangerous jobs

Workplace fatalities reach record low

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