LB ain’t no Han Solo…

The makers of Star Wars: The Force Awakens have been sentenced after failing to protect the actors and workers while on set during filming at Pinewood Studio, Slough, Buckinghamshire. Harrison Ford suffered a broken leg and deep lacerations when he was knocked off his feet and pinned to the floor of the Millennium Falcon set, as a prop door closed on him. HSE’s investigation found that there was no automatic emergency cut off, to protect those on set, instead relying on the reactions of the prop operator(s) to bring the door to a stop. Aylesbury Crown Court heard how a combination of preventable events, starting with how the door was designed, led to the incident.

In 2013, Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust (Sloven) failed to protect patients in the Short Term Assessment and Treatment Unit, Headington, Oxford. Connor Sparrowhawk lost his life when he was left to bath alone despite a diagnosis of epilepsy. 

During dress rehearsals on the 12 June 2014 Harrison Ford walked back towards the entrance ramp of the Millennium Falcon and pressed the prop door button to ‘close’ the door. As the cameras were not rolling he did not expect it to close. The production crew member who was operating the prop believed they were in full rehearsal and closed the door. The door’s steel frame was overlaid with sheets of metal and had a tapered edge. It’s operation moved from ceiling to floor in a sharp downward motion. It did not have any automated safety mechanisms to cut out if a person was unexpectedly under the door.

On 4 July 2013, Connor went to have a bath. He didn’t expect to drown. Staff on duty didn’t think about his safety. There was no leadership from Sloven, both locally and at executive level, which meant the recently taken over unit was unsafe.

The risk of the door causing a serious injury or death had been highlighted by one of the health and safety officers for the production company. Foodles Production (UK) Ltd should have put a system in place to ensure the actors and production workers were protected. A different design with inbuilt safety features or using a different material could have guarded against any possible miscommunication on a busy film set.

The risk of seizure activity had been highlighted by Connor’s mother and wider longstanding health and safety failures by Mike Holder. Sloven should have put systems in place to ensure patients were protected. A different system with robust safety procedures would have guarded against any possible miscommuncation in a small unit.

Foodles Production (UK) Ltd, who had pleaded guilty at a previous hearing to Section 2 and Section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, were today fined £1.6 million and ordered to pay costs of £20,861.22 at Aylesbury Crown Court. 

Sloven have consistently tried to wriggle out of any accountability, blame Connor’s mother and ride the waves of executive level corruption over £millions wasted on nonsense training by an organisation led by the then CEO’s mate. 

HSE’s Divisional Director Tim Galloway said: “This incident was foreseeable and preventable and could have resulted in more serious injury or even death. The power and speed of the door was such that, had Mr Ford or anyone else had been struck on the head by the door as it closed, they might easily have been killed. It was only the almost instantaneous actions of the prop operator in hitting the emergency stop that prevented the door from continuing to press down on Mr Ford as he lay on the floor. I think everyone would accept that all the people who work in the film industry have a right to know that the risks they take to entertain us, including when making action movies, are properly managed and controlled.


There has been no statement, report or court case about LB’s death. His death. There was no ‘might’ about what happened to him. No over sensationalised, dramatic rehash of what (nearly) happened with photos. He died a year before Harrison Ford’s knee injury.

The HSE, like the GMC and NMC, clearly have no interest in swift, efficient and timely investigations into the death of a young man with his life ahead of him. LB ain’t no Han Solo. Well, he aint human in the eyes of these organisations. But Harrison Ford is more so. As this salacious guff  highlights.

There is no whiff of respect, dignity, care or humanity around the deaths of LB, Danny, Edward, Adam, Thomas, Sarah, Nico and others. Along with complete disregard for their families. We are simply ignored, dismissed, bullied, battered and, I suspect, despised.

I’ve given up asking, pleading, demanding, raging or expecting any action. Here’s a selection of words. Please order them in any way you choose. Or don’t bother.

Bunch. Jot. Among. Fuckers. Sad. You. You. Of. Of. Self serving. Integrity. With. Among. No.


11 thoughts on “LB ain’t no Han Solo…

  1. A brilliant analogy Sara. The harsh truth is it is what it is, despite the fine words, human rights, regulations and new laws, we have lost our way. There is no accountability, it’s an illusion in a society saturated with laws around equality, dignity and the value of life. The lives of people with a learning disability are irrelevant compared to an actors broken leg.

  2. Pingback: LB ain’t no Han Solo… | For Love of the Mainman……

  3. lesser lives, there is no ignoring the fact. No equality in life, dying or death for some people. Reported locally this summer the death of a young man in Sidcup on the 13th April. Obviously lacking star quality his drowning wasn’t even made known to his family for 17 days and they are left with a police contact who works night shifts to keep them informed of developments. The CQC made an unannounced visit on the 28th April to Loring Hall but no mention of anyone left unattended to drown is in their report. Hidden horror that is reported in a paragraph or two. Anyone’s guess as to whether the family will ever have a true account of what happened to their son.

    • And yet another suicide of a patient at the lethal Hergest Unit in north Wales reported today. Another patient sent home unaccompanied just one hour after telling her daughter that she would kill herself when she got home. The daughter informed Hergest Unit staff – the patient was sent home nonetheless and found dead within hours. And this death won’t even be investigated by a body like the HSE at all…

    • Bullet pointing:
      17 days of no news of a child’s death to a family (?)
      Exceptional star quality are stars with children with autism or learning disabilities – Robert Deniro, even with money, going through hell.
      CQC leaving a drowning out of a report.

  4. If our sons and and daughters are seriously injured through neglect or worse -. people with learning disability (Downs Syndrome in my sons case) have no access to legal aid for a civil action. Advice we got from solicitors was that probably only after grueling years of resistance by LA/NHS lawyers – payout would be very small if at all – because of difficulty in assessing future needs. So the no win no fee solicitors won’t touch.

    So no access to justice.

    • the HSE out of all the bodies must be ready to report , everyone would want them to investigate comprehensively but the delay is unacceptable. There is the glimmer of hope that their findings regarding breaches led them to bring criminal proceedings , I agree there is no access to justice other than via regulatory bodies for the average family. Something must be in the pipeline surely to restore faith. It looks for all the world as though Connor’s wholly preventable death is being resigned to the ‘ look at it some time ‘ dept. Last in line.

  5. Pingback: Jeff Vader and getting it right | mydaftlife

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