New Mexico Issues $137,000 Fine, Willful Citation to Movie Production Filming “Rust”

New Mexico Issues $137,000 Fine, Willful Citation to Movie Production Filming “Rust”

The agency investigated an incident from October 2021 that lead to a worker's death.

A movie production company is being cited and fined after an incident in October 2021 left one worker dead and another injured.

Last October, a production crew was filming the movie “Rust” in New Mexico when Producer and Actor Alex Baldwin discharged a prop gun. It killed Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injured Director Joel Souza.

According to a news release, the New Mexico Occupational Health and Safety Bureau (OSHB) investigated and cited Rust Movie Productions, LLC for a willful-serious violation and a $136,793 fine for “plain indifference” relating to firearm safety on set. 

Industry guidelines require that when on set, live ammunition cannot be used or located on-site, safety meetings be held and firearms should not be pointed at anyone without an authorized person being notified. Per the release, these guidelines were not followed on set.

“Our investigation found that this tragic incident never would have happened if Rust Movie Productions, LLC had followed national film industry standards for firearm safety,” said Environment Cabinet Secretary James Kenney in the news release. “This is a complete failure of the employer to follow recognized national protocols that keep employees safe.”

About the Author

Alex Saurman is a former Content Editor for Occupational Health & Safety,who has since joined OH&S’s client services team. She continues to work closely with OH&S’s editorial team and contributes to the magazine.

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