- Associated Press - Friday, March 4, 2011

NEW YORK (AP) - The production company behind Broadway’s troubled “Spider-Man” musical has been slapped with three violations of workplace safety standards by federal regulators.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued the citations Friday for four separate incidents late last year that resulted in injuries to the cast.

The three citations carry $12,600 in proposed fines _ a tiny percentage of the $65 million musical’s weekly costs. OSHA began its investigation after receiving a referral from the New York State Department of Labor. State regulators last month issued safety violations for three accidents.

Rick Miramontez, a spokesman for the show, said Friday the musical “remains in compliance with all government agencies and continues to adhere to all safety protocols.”

In the latest citations, OSHA alleges that production company 8 Legged Productions LLC exposed the cast “to the hazards of falls or being struck during flying routines because of improperly adjusted or unsecured safety harnesses.”

Another citation says a “fall hazard” was created by “unguarded open-side floors,” and a third noted that “the company failed to shield employees from being struck by moving overhead rigging components.

OSHA noted that the incidents at the show that resulted in employee injury happened on Sept. 25, Oct. 19, Nov. 28 and Dec. 20.

The last two dates correspond to two big accidents that have shaken the show. In the first, actress Natalie Mendoza was injured during the first preview when she was hit in the head by a rope and suffered a concussion. The injury kept her sidelined for two weeks. She eventually left the show.

On Dec. 20, the main actor portraying Spider-Man plunged more than 30 feet in front of a shocked audience, suffering a fractured skull, a fractured shoulder blade, four broken ribs and three broken vertebrae. It was determined that his safety harness was accidentally left unclipped.

The production, set to officially open March 15, has been in previews since November as the creative team tries to put the finishing touches on what has become the most expensive show in Broadway history. It features Julie Taymor as the director and co-writer and music by U2’s Bono and The Edge.

OSHA said the production company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to meet with federal regulators or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

A spokeswoman for the Actors’ Equity Association, a labor union that represents more than 48,000 actors and stage managers, declined to comment Friday.

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