Amazon Calls Unsafe Workplace Allegations “Completely Inaccurate”

Amazon is calling the allegations of an unsafe workplace during the production of their Lord of the Rings series “completely inaccurate.” The company issued a statement about the allegations in the New Zealand Herald this weekend. In their report, a number of stunt workers have been seriously injured. Two of the workers in question are reported to be getting surgeries that were reported to WorkSafe ahead of time. (WorkSafe is New Zealand’s health and safety regulator in the workplace.) That Lord of the Rings series is costing the commerce giant over $465 million to produce. Amazon Studios told Variety that their safety protocols match up with the country’s safety standards.

“Amazon Studios takes the health, physical and emotional welfare of our cast and crew extremely seriously,” an Amazon Studios spokesperson said. “As a top priority, the production team continues to be in full compliance with the mandated WorkSafe New Zealand Safety and Security government regulations. Any allegation or report that activities on set are unsafe or outside of regulations are completely inaccurate.”

In that case, a stunt performer named Dayna Grant had a head injury that was said to cause a concussion. WorkSafe regulations are the law of the land in New Zealand productions. However, a “notifiable event” determines what’s is considered a violation.

“A notifiable event is any of the following events that arise from work: a death, a notifiable illness or injury or a notifiable incident. Only serious events are intended to be notified. These trigger requirements to preserve the site, notify the regulator and keep records. The notifiable incident, illness, injury or death must arise out of the conduct of the businesses or undertaking. It could be due to the condition of the work site, the way the work activity is organized, or the way equipment or substances are used.”

“Notifiable events may occur inside or outside the actual work site. Deaths, injuries or illness that are unrelated to work are not notifiable events eg: a diabetic worker slipping into a coma at work, a worker being injured driving to work in his or her private care when the driving is not done as a part of their work, injuries to patients or rest home residents that are triggered by a medical reason (for example injuries from a fall caused by a stroke), a worker fainting from a non-work related cause.”

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