Friday, January 25, 2008

Another Close Call

Other than an intern, I have no full-time staff. I hire painters on a per-project basis, and so all of "my" painters have a number of jobs, other than working with me.

We've been very busy on a fun show, but yesterday one of "my" painters had the day off because one of her other jobs had a big work call.

And yesterday, this wonderful painter had a very serious accident.

I'm still a little unclear on the details, other than that she was working twenty feet up in the air in some kind of antiquated cherry picker, and somehow the whole thing tipped over, and she came down, crash-landing into the theater's seats.

Other than a bruise on her back that's the size of Nebraska, she's apparently fine. This girl is so unbelievably lucky. She could be dead.

At work this morning, she and I had a long talk about her legal rights, California State's worker's comp system, and safety in general. I told her to take as much time as possible to be certain that she spoke to the correct people. Berkeley Rep and I helped her track down a clinic that would see her as a worker's comp walk-in patient, because she needs to be looked over, just in case. I'll be driving her to the clinic tomorrow, even though the accident didn't happen while she was working for me. It's just the right thing to do.

When we're all at the theater next week, we'll be reviewing safety procedures for personnel lifts. Oddly, as part of our on-going safety program, we had just done a refresher on ladder safety the week before.

Thank goodness she's okay!

There are too many stories like this in theater. That "show must go on" mentality can be deadly.

Literally.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm really glad you are going out of your way to help this person, Lisa. It's the right thing to do, and unfortunately you guys have way to much experience with this sort of thing. It's also good for your Karma, so I predict that your Hep 2 will only take 1 year to clear up, not 2, Robb's toes will come back online, and all the birdies dead from the oil spill will magically come back to life. Ok, maybe not, but I'll take the first 2 out of 3!

Good luck to you guys, by the way, are you getting any of the California snowfall we keep hearing about on the news lately?

Annalisa

Anonymous said...

P.S....

.By the way, had that accident happened to me, I'd be washing the poo out of my dainties about now!

Annalisa

Cricket said...

Now I get to use the word Squiffy in an appropriate setting! I cannot tell you how fortunate I feel to have someone like you in my life as a mentor, a friend, and so much more. Your infinite generosity and kindness almost made me burst into tears on the car ride over to the clinic, and most definitely makes me squiffy when I think about it. Thank you thank you thank you a million times for your help. And of COURSE I think all good things will happen as a result of your ongoing great Karma, definitely not only from this particular scenario!

shiloh said...

It's nice to see people taking safty serious. I was on the safety committe at my last job. I just couldn't make the people understand that if they got hurt because of something they should have prevented, i.e. not wearing safty glasses then the company was not legally responsible.

Anonymous said...

There is a Castillian saying where my family came from that goes: "The show SHOULD go on, but if it doesn't, there's always manana."

I am most relieved she is not seriously injured.

OBJuan

Matt said...

I'm thrilled your friend wasn't hurt. I hate it that there are still theaters that encourage theater martyrdom. Make sure your friend calls OSHA to protect other workers at that theater. As you surely remember from your time at Glimmerglass, there are two branches of OSHA - enforcement and compliance. The two branches are legal prohibited from speaking to one another. Enforcement are the guys who will close down a theater. Your painter-friend is certainly entitled to call enforcement, but, if she wants to give the theater a chance, she should contact OSHA compliance, who will give the theater a report about what they should do to come up to legal standards.

Also, she could contact a private group like Sapsis Rigging, ACTS Facts etc. to tell them about the theater and to ask for an inspection.

Just because we love what we do, doesn't mean our working conditions should be unsafe.

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