At TopLine Film, health and safety in film production is one of our top priorities. As a leading corporate video production agency, our crew takes great pride in not only making exceptional video content – but also making sure everyone leaves the shoot in one piece.
Ahead of World Day for Safety and Health at Work on the 28th April, here are our seven top tips on health and safety in film production.
1. All electrical equipment must be PAT tested
Portable Appliance Testing – or PAT as it’s more commonly known – is a process of examination that tests electrical appliances to ensure they’re safe to use. PAT is a legal requirement as per the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 – and TopLine Film takes it very seriously. Compliance with this law is essential – it can save you unnecessary fines, and also prevents your crew from getting nasty shocks on the job.
2. All cables must be taped down
We love our cables at TopLine Film. You name a cable and we’ve got it – big ones, small ones, even multi-coloured ones. The only issue with having lots of cables is that they can trip people up, if not placed properly.
Therefore, a big health and safety requirement on our shoots is making sure these cables are secured to the floor with gaffer tape. You can never have enough gaffer tape on a shoot – we get through metres of it!
3. Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) must be worn when filming in challenging environments
We are always shooting in different environments – from safaris to laboratories, building sites to underground stations – which is why we know how important it is to be prepared for whatever a location can throw at us. Being prepared means being well-equipped with safety shoes, hard hats, safety glasses and high-visibility vests, where appropriate.
PPE is also worn by our crew when operating certain equipment. Lighting equipment, for example, can get very hot, so the crew wear special gloves when moving it around set.
4. Risk assessments
There is no doubt that filming in diverse environments comes with its fair share of potential hazards. Conducting risk assessments before production begins is crucial. Whether we’re operating around heavy machinery or near dangerous animals, we consider every feasible risk and plan for it. This ensures that the shoot runs smoothly, without anything unfortunate happening.
5. Care must be taken when lifting heavy equipment
Video equipment is far from lightweight and often gives the team a good workout. However, it’s in nobody’s best interest to show off and overdo it, which is why we encourage the crew to bend from the knees and straighten their backs when lifting heavy camera gear. This will benefit us in the short and long term. After all, we want to be able to enjoy filming great video well into the future.
6. Drone safety is key!
Considering all of the drone drama in the news last year, it’s safe to say that our in-house drone pilot takes flight safety to the next level. Before any commercial work is carried out for our clients, we scope out the filming location and look for anything that may pose a hazard such as a busy airspace, protected nature reserve or no-fly zone.
Both before and after flying the drone, all of our drone equipment is checked to ensure nothing is damaged or faulty. We monitor the health and life cycle of the drone’s batteries, carefully ensuring no damage comes to our crew or anyone else when flying for our clients.
On location, we always cordon off the area we’re flying in to minimise hazards to the public. Risk assessments and flight planning forms are filled out prior to this so that every eventuality is considered – and no unnecessary chances are taken.
7. We only hire experienced crew
And finally, TopLine Film is made up of a great crew with top-notch experience – and this is key to health and safety on set. If you have a crew that is a bit lax with the rules and doesn’t pay attention to potential risks at filming locations, accidents are likely to happen. Always choose to work with real veterans who don’t cut corners, mitigate risks on set and make sure everyone goes home safe and sound at the end of the day.
If you’re looking for an agency with years of experience for your next company video, TopLine Film can help. Give our head of production, Jamie, a shout whenever you’re ready.