Health and safety “at the root” of successful film-making
Wednesday 7th March 2018
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Sabina Smitham and Emma Clarke said it is not possible to make "a great film" with "a tired and hungry crew who feel uneasy about the way you run the floor".
The duo scooped the health and safety gong at the UK's National Film and Television School's (NFTS) Graduation Show.
They were behind the production of Dead Birds, a comedy about a lonely girl who has a desire to be selected for her school's badminton squad amid a competitive relationship with her mother.
It was shot at six different schools, as well as a badminton centre and a restaurant.
The awards were handed out on 28 February in London. The health and safety award was sponsored by IOSH's Thames Valley Branch.
Emma, who was production manager for the film, said: "Health and safety was at the root of any conversation, passing comment or thought about the production of Dead Birds.
"While we never wanted to hold back a wonderful idea of our director and crew, we had to remember that health and safety is all part of the success of making everything run.
"While we had so many complex things to plan for, it was also key to us that the less showy sides of the shoot were carried out in a safe fashion. For example, we paid special attention to making sure the crew were properly fed, taking into account all food intolerances and the physical challenges of what we were trying to achieve, and ensuring that drivers were always properly rested.
"You can't make a great film with a tired and hungry crew who feel uneasy about the way you run the floor."
Sabina, who was producer for the film, added: "We knew we'd come unstuck not only practically but creatively if we didn't start thinking about health and safety in our earliest discussions.
"By thinking about the safe ways to achieve a grand creative idea at an early stage, it meant we were able to avoid creative compromises.
"Health and safety isn't often something people celebrate, but it's something that takes a lot of work for the production team. And in the end, health and safety comes down to looking out for the amazing people who give their time, creativity and energy to making the film. For me, that's what this award recognises."
Speaking about receiving the award, Emma added: "Both Sabina and I are very thankful to have received the award. We worked extremely hard for this film and it's lovely to be recognised for the care and consideration we gave our crew and the project overall."
It was the 12 successive year that the IOSH Thames Valley Branch has sponsored the award, which includes a £1,000 prize.
Chris Stops, chair of the branch's judging panel, said: "It is an honour and a pleasure to continue to be involved with the NFTS. From my perspective, the school is now entering a new era of growth and creativity, and I believe this gives IOSH an opportunity to influence the future creative leaders of the film and TV industry.
"In our own small way, I like to think we help mould their perceptions of how health and safety can impact on their profession from a positive perspective.
"As far as this year's winners are concerned, as in previous years, we had difficulty in choosing the winner from several other films. Sabina and Emma won because of the way in which they identified and managed a large number of safety-related issues."
The findings of an inquest into the death of a British worker at a Qatar 2022 World Cup stadium building site while using ‘potentially lethal equipment’ were, however, a reminder that lessons must be learned to bring about further health and safety improvements, it said.Zachary Cox fell 130ft (40m) at Khalifa International Stadium in Doha on 19 January last year, a coroner’s court in Brighton and Hove heard last week. Work practices at the stadium were "inherently unsafe", the coroner said, and Mr Cox’s family has called for an independent inquiry into this death.
With 2.78 million people being killed worldwide each year by work-related injury or ill health, the new global standard can encourage “much-needed solutions”, according to the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH).Organisations which adopt the standard – which has been four-and-a-half years in the making – will be required to have proportionate safety and health management systems which prevent injury and ill health among their workforce and throughout their supply chains.
Ljupcho Kochovski and Ekaterina Borisova met with representatives from across IOSH’s directorates, with a particular focus on the membership CPD scheme.FCBZR aims to enhance safety and health in workplaces across Bulgaria, by increasing the knowledge and competence of OSH professionals and promoting them across industries.It is seeking to liaise with bodies in different countries, including with IOSH, leading to the visit from 12-14 February.
IOSH has signed up to Vision Zero, a proposed strategy to keep all the world’s employees out of harm’s way while at work.The campaign, led by the International Social Security Association (ISSA), is based on the view that all work-related accidents, diseases and harm are preventable.IOSH is a longstanding member of ISSA, with representation on the prevention, education and training sections. It has been central to the development of the Vision Zero global campaign, with particular input to the free-to-access guide for trainers which has been recently launched.
How about a “positive networking experience”?If so, joining IOSH’s Council may just be the ideal next step for you.Nominations for the 2018 elections open today. IOSH is seeking 12 members who are committed to the health and safety profession and have a desire to play a key role in the next three years as the Institution continues to deliver its WORK 2022 strategy.
The Irish Workplace Behaviour Study, published today, reveals that more than two in five people say they have experienced a form of ill-treatment at work, while one in 12 have experienced and/or witnessed physical violence. This is despite most organisations having policies in place to prevent it.