Health & Safety Policy and Program
As a part of the overall goal provide a safe, secure, and healthy work environment for all production employees, each production should have a written health & safety policy statement. A sample health & safety policy statement is located in the Production Forms Article (Form 12).In many jurisdictions, in addition to the policy statement, a more comprehensive health & safety program or manual may be necessary. The Health & Safety Program is a document that describes how production management will manage health & safety during the course of the production and how the production’s commitment to health & safety will be communicated to crew and cast. It should clearly state who does what, when and how. It should be focused to aid in the prevention workplace incidents, injuries, and occupational diseases for all production activities. It should also be crafted to ensure compliance with national, regional and local laws, labor codes and regulations.
Risk Assessment & Job Safety Analysis (JSA)
In many jurisdictions, such as the UK and Australia, health & safety legislation requires all work activities to be assessed with respect to health & safety risks. Before any work is undertaken, the consequences of harm occurring and the likelihood that harm will occur must be evaluated, understood and the control measures identified and implemented.
HODs have the responsibility for ongoing risk assessments in relation to matters under their control. Where an appointed Health & Safety Advisor (HSA) is retained by the production, he or she may be commissioned to carry out risk assessments. Where this is the case, the risk assessment should be agreed to by its respective owner as follows:
- The UPM who is responsible for all general production risks,
- The HODs are responsible where risks are department-specific,
- The Location Manager is responsible where risks are location-specific.
The owner of the risk assessment should instruct and inform crew members and any others affected by the risks, and should be responsible for the implementation and maintenance of control measures.
Any specialists such as Special Effects Supervisors and Stunt Coordinators should carry out specific risk assessments for matters under their control, publicize and manage these risks and safety measures.
All risk assessments carried out prior to the commencement of work should be recorded and the contents made known to those affected by the risks. Personnel should be given instructions and information on the methods required to control any risks.
Risk assessments done as work progresses, where changes may occur relatively rapidly, may not be recorded but should be effectively communicated by the production to all concerned, including crew, cast and anyone else potentially affected.
The UPM should coordinate the risk assessments and their publication by means of call sheets. A sample Risk Assessment Process can be found here.
Basic risk assessment principles include the following:
- Hazard is a potential to cause harm,
- Risk is the consequences if that harm occurs and the likelihood of it occurring.
Where the risks are significant, the risk assessment should be completed in written form.
The risk assessment should be completed by a person competent in the field or task that is being assessed. That is someone who:
- Has knowledge of the details of the planned operation,
- Is aware of what could go wrong with the operation,
- Has knowledge about the people directly involved and others who might inadvertently become involved,
- Has knowledge of the location and environment,
- Recognizes all the hazards,
- Has competence in the field of the planned operation,
- Has common sense,
- Has specialized knowledge where appropriate.
The written risk assessment should record at least the following:
- The hazards and their potential severity,
- Employees and others potentially affected by the hazards,
- Existing control measures and their degree of adequacy,
- The risk of what could cause injury, as well as, the likelihood and severity of the risk,
- Measures necessary to reduce the risk to an acceptable level.