Where required by regulation, contract, local production custom or when recommended, the Health & Safety Advisor (HSA) acts as a competent source of safety advice to the production. The HSA typically assists the production with risk assessment, monitors production activities, interprets local health & safety requirements, investigates incidents and near misses, provides safety training and supports the production in interaction with enforcement authorities.
In the UK, health & safety regulations require that “every employer shall…appoint one or more competent persons to assist him in undertaking the measures he needs to take to comply with the requirements and prohibitions imposed upon him by or under the relevant statutory provisions...” (1999 MHSWR)
In addition, the employer must ensure cooperation between the appointed persons cooperate and that, “the time available for them to fulfill their functions and the means at their disposal are adequate having regard to the size of his undertaking, the risks to which his employees are exposed and the distribution of those risks throughout the undertaking.”
A person is regarded as competent where he or she has sufficient training, experience or knowledge and other qualities to enable him / her to properly assist the production in performing the required tasks. In other jurisdictions, the role of HSA may be a local custom or required by contract. In addition to risk assessment and the other tasks mentioned above, it may be necessary for the HSA to develop a detailed, written health & safety program or manual that complies with all relevant national, regional and local health & safety laws and regulations.
The Producer, as Safety Program Director, is responsible to determine whether the Production will need to hire an outside Safety Professional or appoint a crew member to act as the designated HSA.