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Why Contractor Safety Management is Vital to Film Productions

Film productions are fascinating journeys of creativity, but behind the glitz and glamour lies a challenging world filled with potential risks and hazards. With diverse teams of contractors and crew members working together, safety becomes a paramount concern. 

This is where contractor safety management systems play a crucial role, ensuring the well-being of all involved and contributing to the success of film productions. In this article, we explore the top seven reasons why these systems are indispensable in the filmmaking process.

1. Protecting Diverse Workforces:

Film sets are bustling hives of activity, with actors, stunt performers, technicians, set designers, electricians, and more collaborating to bring cinematic magic to life. Each contractor has unique roles and responsibilities, along with distinct safety requirements. 

A comprehensive safety management system ensures that everyone is aware of potential risks and equipped with the knowledge and training to handle them, promoting a safer and more harmonious work environment.

“Contractors are often engaged in physical or high-risk jobs in unfamiliar surroundings. As a result, recordable safety incident rates are typically three times higher for contractors compared with permanent staff, according to Independent Analyst Group Verdantix.”

IOSH Magazine, Thursday 28th October 2021

2. Mitigating High-Risk Activities:

Action-packed scenes, daring stunts, and elaborate special effects are exciting elements of films but also carry inherent risks. Without proper safety measures, these high-risk activities can lead to accidents and injuries. Contractor safety management systems facilitate rigorous risk assessments, helping identify potential hazards and implementing safety protocols to minimize risks during such demanding sequences. 

During set construction, it is vitally important to select construction contractors with a track record for safety and to establish ground rules with them on set safety rules, PPE usage and safe work behaviours.

3. Compliance with Regulations:

The film industry is subject to the same health and safety regulations in Thailand as many other industries. Failing to comply with these regulations can result in severe consequences, including fines, incarceration and production delays. 

Comprehensive Contractor Safety Management systems ensure that film productions adhere to all applicable Thai safety standards, securing necessary permits, and remittal of required reporting to government agencies (i.e reporting of serious injuries and accidents)

4. Emergency Preparedness:

Film sets can be dynamic and unpredictable environments, making emergency preparedness vital. From medical incidents to weather-related challenges (i.e. heat stress), film productions need to be equipped to handle any unforeseen situations. 

Contractor safety management systems establish well-defined emergency response plans, conduct regular drills, and appoint safety personnel to ensure swift and effective responses in times of crisis.

Pinewood Studios, UK

5. Safeguarding Reputation and Trust:

Safety incidents on film sets can have a significant impact on a production company’s reputation. News of accidents or injuries spreads rapidly, potentially damaging the trust of stakeholders, investors, and audiences. By prioritizing safety through a robust contractor safety management system, film productions can preserve their reputation, build trust, and attract top talent for future projects. 

Proper selection and management of contractors for safety, is vital to a successful build.

6. Long-Term Cost-Effectiveness:

Investing in a contractor safety management system is an investment in the long-term success and sustainability of film productions. Implementing safety measures from the outset reduces the likelihood of accidents, leading to lower medical expenses, insurance claims, and legal costs. A safer work environment enhances productivity and efficiency, ultimately translating into cost savings.

7. Fostering a Culture of Safety:

Contractor safety management systems instil a culture of safety throughout the entire film production process. When safety becomes a core value, all team members actively participate in maintaining a safe work environment. Workers are encouraged to report potential hazards promptly, leading to timely interventions and fostering a collective commitment to safety.

Conclusion:

In the enchanting world of film production, prioritizing safety is not a choice but an imperative. Contractor Safety Management systems provide a structured approach to safeguarding the well-being of everyone involved, from actors to crew members and construction contractors. 

By addressing diverse risks, ensuring compliance with regulations, and promoting a culture of safety, these systems empower film productions to deliver their creative visions while ensuring that the magic on screen is matched by the security and well-being behind the scenes.

Ashlar can advise clients on everything from simple to more complex solutions to mitigate risk with your contractors. We can offer advice and guidance as well as programs to UPM’s, Art Directors, Procurement and other teams that WILL reduce your risk of incident.

To start, we recommend that you review your own internal incident case files first to see if the majority of incidents and accidents are related to the work of contractors. If you see a pattern involving contractors, then consider getting in contact with us for a discussion.

Please see our services offered to the Film Industry here.

Read this article from IOS Magazine for additional information.