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A sudden health crisis pauses a TV show’s production

Summer television used to be reserved for reruns. Ratings were usually down due to viewers enjoying outdoor gatherings and activities, not to mention vacations. Fast forward to today. No longer is TV viewing limited to watching a particular show on a specific day and time. Summertime shows have become an annual tradition, regardless of when they are viewed.

NBC was in the process of taping episodes of “Ultimate Slip’ N Slide,” hosted by comedians Bobby Moynihan and Ron Funches. The program is based on the Slip’ N Slide children’s toy invented by Robert Carrier and manufactured by Wham-O with its debut in 1961. It is essentially a plastic sheet that, when wettened, becomes slippery.

Workers seriously sickened

Without warning, a sudden outbreak of an illness left 40 crew members violently ill and suffering extreme intestinal distress while working on the show. With a week left of filming the show, crew members were collapsing and making mad dashes to the closest port-o-potties.

Production was halted when one crew member tested positive for giardia. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the parasite can easily spread from person to person through contamination of surfaces, soil, food, or water.

Ultimate Slip’ N Slide is scheduled for an August 8th premiere after the airing of the Olympic Game’s closing ceremony. The producers are determining the “next steps” towards completing production that will likely occur at a different location.

Safety in any workplace, let alone one that is remote and outdoors, presents serious health risks to employees. In a time where more than a year was spent dealing with a potentially deadly virus, employers should be well aware of their responsibility to be proactive and ensure that employees do not suffer illnesses and injuries.