Health and Safety in Video
The Video and Film Industry has long lead the way in health and safety, and it’s interesting to read from the British Safety Council an article which highlights what we’ve always know. However, stating the obvious does sometimes serve to make us reflect on how we work.
When we go to client premises we often get asked about Risk Assessments these days and yes, of course, we do one, but then we’ve always done one! Long before it became the ‘thing’ to do, health and safety issues were considered in the Video and Film Industry – afterall if you’re going to film a herd of elephants roaming free in the Masai Mara you’ll need to take precautions!
It’s also true to say that the cameraperson sometimes doesn’t see the dangers, seeing things through a viewfinder lens in black and white can make what you’re seeing a bit surreal – which is why the role of the Video Production Manager is so important. Excuse the pun, but safety isn’t ever a black and white issue, just small amendments in judgement can make a difference for better or worse.
And you may not be filming something that’s obviously dangerous like elephants in the wild; factories and offices offer just as many opportunities for accidents to happen; the most common accident at work is usually related to a slip, trip or fall and when you’re looking through a camera lens you can’t see the hazard so easily! It’s one of the reasons we don’t just single person crews, someone has to take care of the location and Take One prides itself on taking good care of its employees and clients.
We’ve been fortunate to have remained safe in our work for many years, but we are still always vigilant and take nothing for granted. Yes, we do Risk Assessments, but our Risk Assessments aren’t box ticking exercises. Although in reality we often don’t get to see a venue before we film there, so our assessment of risk has to be done on the spot, which is why our skilled and experienced production staff are so valued in our business – without them, well who knows what’s round the corner.