Keeping your cast and crew safe encompasses much more than getting a proper general liability insurance policy that protects them from on-set injury. Florida’s workplace safety regulations are covered at the federal level which means video productions in Miami FL must follow strict OSHA regulations to keep everyone on set safe.
More than common sense
Of course, no one sets out to produce a film or video with the intention of putting their cast and crew in harm’s way. But there are precautions even the most safety-conscious producer may be overlooking.
Don’t be lulled into thinking that most injuries happen only on low budget projects or during stunts. Producers who work through their shoot in advance and put proper health and safety policies in place before production starts reduce risks and are better prepared to handle emergencies or accidents that may occur.
As Steven Spielberg once famously said, “no movie is worth dying for.”
Here are the steps experts say you can take to make safety on the set a top priority.
- Research and prepare a proper “safety manual” before production begins, making sure it addresses matters specific to your shoot. Circulate this safety manual to all department heads, who should then ensure everyone under their watch understands it and, in the case of an emergency, can find it quickly.
The ICG Safety app is a great source for safety information, offering access to timely safety bulletins on topics like safety awareness, animal handling rules, and guidelines regarding the use of helicopters and live ammunition, as well as hotlines and forms for reporting things like on-set hazards.
- The preproduction read-through of the script should include safety concerns that all department heads need to be aware of. Each scene of your script should be analyzed to identify these safety concerns. For instance, will there be days where excessive work hours are necessary? If so, will crew members be provided with nearby hotel accommodations? Will you have alternative modes of transportation such as shuttles available, so no one is driving while tired? Will nap opportunities be provided? And so on.
- There are plenty of reasons for hiring a competent first AD, but none may be more critical than hiring one who understands her or his work duties include overseeing safety on the set. Make sure your cast and crew know that it’s the first AD’s responsibility to help keep them safe and help them keep themselves safe.
- Start each production day with a 5 to 10-minute safety talk with the crew. Encourage questions and feedback regarding safety concerns. Make sure it’s clear to crew members that it is safe for them to report what they feel are unsafe working conditions. Remind crew members at this time that they may not and should not perform any work for which they haven’t received specific training and authorization.
- When preparing the daily crew sheet, put all critical safety information in a prominent location. Things like extreme weather conditions and fire or other potentially dangerous stunt conditions, as well as details regarding the nearest emergency rooms, hospitals or clinics should be included.
- There should be one or more crew members who have CPR and first aid training. An on-set medic is even better.
- Make sure you obtain proper permits for all dangerous activities. Local fire and police departments and other governmental authorities may have specific rules and regulations you need to follow. Always use trained, professional stunt coordinators. MPR’s Miami video production services can be extremely helpful in assisting you to meet these requirements.
- Familiarize yourself with all federal, state, county, and local rules that cover labor law, as well as relevant union requirements.
The producer as on-set safety specialist
Remember, putting safety first isn’t just an ethical responsibility; it also protects you and the entire production fiscally.
Producers are ultimately responsible for the overall safety of their cast, crew, and themselves on any film or video production. You should also discuss unique safety concerns with your insurance provider and production attorney if you have one. They will help you limit any dangers and or your exposure to liability if something goes wrong. Many offer updated itemized lists of precautions you can take to prevent accidents and maintain on-set safety.
The Producers Guild of America’s safety initiative is designed to help producers recognize and implement safe practices on film and video productions. It aims to empower producers to be leading advocates for safe filmmaking practices and to learn how to build trust between them and their cast and crew
MPR’s Miami film production services can help you with permits, insurance, and other location services to ensure you have a safe and successful production. We also provide camera rentals, lens rentals, grip truck rentals, film lighting packages, walkie talkies, expendables, and post-production resources and rentals at competitive prices.
Give us a call today at 305.522.1361 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.