According to Deadline, the New Mexico Occupational Health and Safety Bureau issued the citation after the Bureau’s six-month-long investigation into the circumstances that led to the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injured director Joel Souza on October 21.
The production company was issued a “willful-serious citation” with a $136,793 civil penalty, which is “the highest level of citation and maximum fine allowable by state law in New Mexico,” according to the Bureau, which went on to say, “Rust Movie Productions, LLC was cited for the plain indifference to the recognized hazards associated with the use of firearms on set that resulted in a fatality, severe injury, and unsafe working conditions.”
Alec Baldwin’s Lawyer Claims That OSHA Report ‘Exonerates’ Him From ‘Rust’ Tragedy
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Baldwin’s attorney, Luke Nikas, released a statement that the “30 Rock” actor shared through his Instagram page.
“We are grateful to the New Mexico Occupational Health and Safety Bureau for investigating this matter,” Luke Nikas wrote began. “We appreciate that the report exonerates Mr. Baldwin by making clear that he believed the gun held only dummy rounds and that his authority on the production was limited to approving script changes and creative casting.”
“Mr. Baldwin had no authority over the matters that were the subject of the Bureau’s findings of violations, and we are pleased that the New Mexico authorities have clarified these critical issues,” he continued. “We are confident that the individuals identified in the report will be held accountable for this tragedy.”
The report had concluded that Rust Movie Productions LLC’s management “knew that firearm safety procedures were not being followed on set and demonstrated plain indifference to employee safety by failing to review work practices and take corrective action.”
On Wednesday, Environmental Cabinet Secretary James Kenney said that “there were serious management failures and more than sufficient evidence to suggest that if standard industry practices were followed, the fatal shooting of Halyna Hutching and the serious injury to Joel Souza would not have occurred. … This is a complete failure of the employer to follow recognized national protocols that keep employees safe.”
Hutchins’ Family & ‘Rust’ Armorer Respond To OSHA Report
The attorney for the Hutchins’ family, Brian Panish, told TMZ, “We are pleased that the NM OSHA report has shed some light on the workplace safety issues that plagued Rust and led to the tragic and fatal events of Oct 21, 2021. Our own investigation has found overwhelming evidence of recklessness and negligence on the part of the Rust production team and others.”
“Rust” armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed issued a statement through her lawyer, Jason Bowles, which was also conveyed to TMZ. Bowles said, “OSHA found that she was not provided adequate time or resources to conduct her job effectively, despite her voiced concerns.”
Bowles continued, “Critically, OSHA also determined that production failed to call Hannah in to perform her armorer duties and inspect the firearm right before its use in the impromptu scene with Baldwin. As we have stated before, had anyone from Production called Hannah back into the church before the scene to consult with her, this tragedy would have been prevented.”
“Hannah has also reached out to OSHA recently in an effort to provide her suggestions for changes and improvement of safety standards on sets to avoid a tragic incident in the future,” he added.
Reed has previously claimed that she was never asked to inspect the gun that actor Alec Baldwin was holding during the rehearsal scene in the church.