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The devastating fire at Chowpatty in 2016 on the occasion of MAKE IN INDIA function was once again a timely reminder to all concerned that there ought to be a SAFETY CODE in place in the entertainment industry.  There is an urgent need for reforms and requisite safety guidelines so that safety and security of thousands of workers and technicians is ensured.  Now that the entertainment industry is on the threshold of becoming a global giant the need to have a code is all the more important.  When Indian units shoot abroad it is mandatory for them to comply with all safety norms on sets and locations but at home there is complete defiance and what is shocking and surprising that even basic norms are not adhered to. A beginning should be made by state owned Dadasaheb Chitranagari (Film City) where at any given time more than 4000 workers and technicians are engaged to work on sets for films and television.  There is an urgent need to have emergency medical services in this renowned film city.  In case of any accident the next available clinic/hospital is miles away.  Let us wake up now otherwise tragedies of more severe magnitude are waiting to pounce on the lives of unsuspecting workers and technicians.  Let us evolve a SAFETY CODE that should become part of legislation and made mandatory for all to implement within a given time frame.

Let us have a look at safety norms and codes that are globally practised and made available through the courtesy of UNI-MEI so that we may draw upon key features for incorporation in our proposed SAFETY CODE:-

Safety Checklist for Film and Television


This checklist is to be used as an aid when setting up and reviewing an Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) System for short films and television commercials.  It should be used in conjunction with the Work Cover New South Wales Small Business Safety Checklist, and with the Film and Television Safety Code. 

Both risk management and consultation are vital parts of an effective OHS management system.  The second part of this document contains checklists designed for use by individual departments, to help identifying hazards.  They are a prompt and should be considered in both their current and proposed contexts.

This checklist is designed as a template on which you should develop our own list.  Obviously, some items shall not be applicable to your particular workplace or circumstances, while some other obvious items may need to be added, as well as some other not so obvious ones.

The checklist does not attempt to highlight all the individual risks associated with each hazard. It is suggested that each department establish standard system to check common hazards, with a supporting system to identify and assess existing and other potential risks in the changing work environment.

Due to the diverse nature of the industry, it is not all-inclusive, and specialists should be consulted in each area as appropriate.

Importance of Identifying Hazards.

Identifying hazards is a requirement under the OHS legislation and is the ultimate responsibility of the employer.  The employer is required to consult with employees when identifying hazards, and when making decisions, which will affect the health, safety and welfare of employees.  Therefore, in the interests of achieving both legal compliance and optimum outcomes, consultation should continue with stakeholders, accompanied by an ongoing monitor and review process.

Identifying hazards is the first step in the risk management process.  Further information on risk management can be found in the MEAA Risk Management for the Film/Television/Theatre and Other Entertainment Industries Guideline.

Summary of the steps in Risk Management
  1. Identify Hazards

Hazard identified – employer to identify hazards

Consultation – with stakeholders, both in identifying hazards and throughout process

Context – look at the context the hazard is in and any complicating factors

  1. Assess Hazards

Hazards assessed for level of risk considering both likelihood and potential consequences

Risks prioritized

Address high risk hazards first

  1. Eliminate Hazards
  2. If unable to eliminate hazard, control the hazard

Controls identified/investigated,/justified in accordance with the hierarchy of controls  implemented and controls supervised


  • Identify risks that require urgent attention
  • Allocate responsibilities
  • Timeframe and scheduling are realistic and achievable
  • Controls monitored and reviewed
  • Documented
  • Residual risk reassessed for level of tolerability
  • Back up services in place (emergency procedures and facilities, sufficient supervision to ensure controls properly implemented and monitored)
  • Committment

Risk Management is a vital part of an effective Occupational Health and Safety Management System, and should be an integral component of the organization’s overall management system.  Optimum outcomes are very dependent on commitment to the process from all levels of management.


Policies established

Workers Comp and other insurances checked

Information, Qualifications, Experience, Supervision assessed and addressed

Training requirements identified and addressed

Sufficient time and budget allocated to OHS issues in scheduling.


Is your Workers Compensation Policy valid, and contractors policies checked?

Is everyone aware of their obligations under the OHS Act and associated legislation?

  • Production
  • Cast
  • Crew
  • Suppliers
  • Manufacturers
  • Hirer’s
  • Premises owners/controllers
  • Support services

Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Management System:

  • OHS Policies

OHS and associated policies in place, publicized and documented

– e.g. OHS commitment policy, no smoking policies, drug and alcohol,   visitors to set, etc.

  • Systems to support policies
    • Consultation Systems agreed, publicised and documented
    • Risk management Systems
    • Job descriptions, competencies and assessments
    • Qualifications and licenses checked
    • Levels of supervision
    • Training requirements – assessed and addressed
    • Provision of information
    • Systems for subcontractors
    • Systems for managing plant, including hired equipment
    • Systems for Hazardous Substances
    • Systems for Dangerous Goods
    • Injury management systems – equipment, trained personnel, procedures
    • Emergency Procedures – devised, trialed, promoted
    • Incident and Injury reporting systems
    • Management commitment – time and budget
    • Communications
    • System for documenting system, particularly when required through legislation, such as when working in confined spaces. Recommend documenting risk assessments and controls for moderate to high-risk hazards.


Do you have sufficient support services?  Consider:

  • Safety report
  • Safety Supervisor
  • OHS Consultant
  • Registered nurse(s) or other applicable first aid personnel.


Induction training procedures in place and documented

Possible emergencies identified, appropriate evacuation signals and procedures in place for each location.

Sufficient fire extinguishers, first aid kits and personnel

  • Trained Personnel, procedures
  • First aid kit clean, stocked and accessible
  • Fire drill, fire equipment tested
  • Workplace assessed for fire and evacuation hazards

Contact list for emergencies –

  • 000, plus electricity, gas, water, phone, RTA, Council, premises owner, producer, other emergency services, etc.

Complicating factors:

  • Appropriate Policies and procedures for having children, elderly or disabled on location/premises
  • Hazardous filming
  • SFX
  • Firearms
  • Stunts
  • Cranes
  • Special rigs
  • Other
  • Condition of all vehicles
  • Appropriate drivers/truck licenses
  • All vehicles registered and well maintained
  • Trucks – access and egress
  • Lighting
  • Security
  • Comfort (ergonomic design, heating, air conditioning)

Employment checklist:

Checked have all personal details for employees and contractors:

  • Legal name
  • Home and Postal and Email Address, Home and mobile phone numbers
  • Agent
  • Contact number for next of kin
  • Contact number for doctor/specialist in an emergency
  • Tax file number (plus tax declaration form completed)
  • Or ABN (clarify who is responsible for Workers Compensation Insurance)
  • Or ABN / Company Name and Number and registered address.
  • Bank deposit details
  • Superannuation details


  • Identification
  • Qualification documents (check relevance and recognition in NSW if applicable)
  • Drivers License appropriate for vehicles driven and current – check
  • Check references
  • Valid work visa for foreign workers

If a company

–     Public Liability Insurance,

  • Workers Compensation Insurance (Check quarterly “Certificate of Currency” for applicable category of work, appropriate wages stated, financially current)
  • Evidence of a system for OHS, which should include safe work practices

Other related issues you may want to include:

●       Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance membership number

●       Vehicle type and registration number

If hiring out or providing equipment to production:

  • Evidence of a system of maintenance
  • Requirements for use of equipment (restrictions, training, information, supervision, risk assessments, other)
  • Hazardous Substances manifest, and Material Safety Data Sheets
  • Ensure covered in Production’s insurance, otherwise come to other agreement
  • Issues of transport, storage, delivery, pick-up and or safe disposal



Location Scout Checklist.

Refer to Production Office checklist for general office hazards.

Scouting usually involves traveling around looking for a location to film that will fit a given brief from the director.  It often involves traveling to areas unfamiliar to the scout and occasionally in areas not generally designed to be accessed by the public, hence their health and safety must be of prime importance.

It is often advantageous to consider health and safety issues for the crew and others during the scout as choosing an appropriate filming environment can greatly reduce the cost for the production.  It would be helpful for the scout to be aware of the reccee checklist while scouting as major health and safety issues may affect the final choice of location.

While health and safety issues for the shoot can generally be addressed, it is often advantageous to consider these issues when scouting,

The principal considerations are:

●       Transport: Driving, traffic, safe access

●       Working in unfamiliar areas:  being aware of hazards in each area, and personal limitations

  • Working in isolation
  • Issues while in process of taking photographs for scout:
  • Restricted awareness of moving hazards while having eye to camera.
  • Working at heights
    • Issues of how to access point at height
    • Disorientation when looking down over heights
    • Dropping objects from heights
  • Working in crowds (e.g. shopping malls – may require someone to “watch back”)
  • Security
  • Distant locations, may be a long way from help
  • Communications – may be out of phone range
  • Make realistic recommendations
  • Be up front about expectations


Hazard Identification on Recce


  1. Ensure safety of all personnel on recce.
  2. Identify hazards while on recce and plan controls.

Premises owner aware of OHS responsibilities

  • Obligation to notify workers of anything that may affect their health, safety or welfare (HSW)
  • Ask premises controller if they are aware of any hazards or potential hazards.
  • Proximity of location to production office/accommodation
  • Proximity to base camp
  • Access to shelter, power, water, sewerage, etc.
  • Proximity to, contact numbers for and location of emergency facilities and hours of operation of each:
  • doctor/medical centers,
  • police,
  • fire,
  • ambulance,
  • hospital
  • State emergency services
  • Other relevant emergency services

Additional after hours emergency contact numbers for:

  • producer
  • premises controller,
  • gas supplier,
  • electricity supplier,
  • water supplier,

Proximity and access to support facilities (Banks, shops, fuel, pharmacy, etc)



Specific workplace safety policies

Anticipated time of travel to and from location and any complicating factors

Other complicating factors

  • Condition of buildings
  • Presence of asbestos or other hazardous substances
  • Condition of ground
  • Nearby roads
  • Pests, fauna, flora.
  • Natural disaster risks – fire, flood, earthquake, high wind area, tides
  • Neighboring industries/ locations that could present a hazard
  • Security
  • Equipment
  • Noise
  • Vibration
  • Ventilation
  • Light
  • Odor
  • Communications
  • No entry areas
  • Safety Notices
  • Weather Extremes


  • water,
  • crowds,
  • schools,
  • pubs,
  • hospitals,
  • busy roads,
  • dust
  • sand
  • overhead power lines



  • At heights – fall protection
  • In confined spaces – special section on OHS regulations
  • Underground – parts of mining act may be relevant
  • Alone
  • Under water
  • In aircraft
  • Special rigs
  • Moving objects
  • Appropriateness for children/ others


Fire Systems

  • Sprinkler systems
  • Alarm systems
  • Fire Equipment
  • Fire Personnel
  • Evacuation systems

Systems for Hazardous Substances

  • MSDS
  • Hazardous Substance manifest (register)
  • Correct labels on containers

Dangerous Goods (explosives, acids/alkalizes, radiation, etc)

Emergency and Evacuation Procedures

Requirements for specialized personnel

  • Registered Nurse, Safety Supervisor, others.

General issues to consider for shoot:



Place for unit base

Look for difficult access – how easy and safe will it be to get gear in and out?


  • Noise – how crew impacts on surrounds, and how surrounds impact on crew
  • Get a good background on the area, such as if things happen that may impact on the production that are not obvious on the day visited (e.g. construction, rallies, events)
  • Plan that parking will not block vision of neighbors so they can safely access and exit their premises.
  • Plan cables to be safe and tidy
  • Plan generator to be positioned so as noise and exhaust will not impact on others


Slip hazard from drop sheets – controls may be rubber mats, taping or otherwise securing, etc.

  • Industrial sites – professional OHS Report
    • how impacts cast and crew
    • how production impacts others at workplace

Induction checklist:

Induction Training:


In New South Wales, to be compliant with chapter 2, Clause 13 of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation 2001, every new person starting at a workplace must be inducted into the workplace, and every person must be given sufficient information to enable them to do their job safely.

They are required to be given information on the arrangements for management of OHS at the workplace.  This would include explaining policies and arrangements for reporting hazards.

Health and Safety Procedures are also to be covered, which would include the use and control of risk control procedures.

The employer has a legal obligation to make relevant health and safety information available, so an induction would include how to access the information.

The regulation specifies other areas that are subject to induction training, which may be applicable to the place of work.  These training sessions are additional and defined under separate sections of the regulations. These include the use and maintenance of plant, hazardous substances, and the involvement of construction work (Chapter 8).  Additionally, specific training in areas such as manual handling, confined spaces, responsibilities of supervisors, etc. may be required.

The employer is obligated to inform any person at work of risks they may be exposed to, and to provide any information, instruction and training necessary to ensure the person’s health and safety.

This means that every time a job or location are changed, that a new induction for that job or location are required.

The employer is also to supply all available information necessary to those with responsibilities in the risk management process, which includes hazard identification, assessment, elimination or controls, monitoring and reviewing the controls and providing information.

A systematic means of recording the training is a requirement for hazardous substances induction, but should be considered for all other induction requirements to help prove compliance.

Additional requirements for induction training are detailed in Chapter 8 of the NSW OHS Regulation 2001.  Basically, they require 3 tiers of training: a general introduction to working in the construction industry (often referred to as the “green card”); a site-specific induction and a job-specific induction.  This may be pertinent to workshop and construction areas of the industry, and in rare cases, may be relevant to the general crew.

Following is an extract from the Employer Guide to OHS in the Entertainment Industry and covers the areas highlighted in the NSW legislation. Following that are examples of basic inductions for film crews when they arrive on set, which may be helpful when compiling your own induction drafts. There may be the need to ensure employees and contractors have more information than this, and this should be assessed on an individual basis.  Generally, a Workplace Training session, which highlights the legislation and individual responsibilities, should be undertaken where possible by all crew.  Heads of Departments will generally require further training, particularly in Risk Management and Consultation, and understanding their responsibilities.  Many crew will require some the relevant induction information prior to arrival on set.

Sample Induction Checklist for Employees

(Based on checklist from Appendix 6 – Employer Guide to OHS in the Entertainment Industry)


1.  Occupational health and safety procedures and policies.
2.  Overall legislative responsibilities of employers and employees.
3.   The procedure for reporting hazards.
4.  The procedure for reporting incidents or near misses.
5.  Emergency procedures, including evacuation routes and emergency contact numbers.
6.  Control measures for known workplace hazards for the area in which they will be working.
7.  Safe use of substances, equipment, tools and plant they will encounter in their job.
8.  Appropriate manual handling methods for the materials and objects that will be encountered in the job.
9.  The use of personnel protective equipment – where, when, and how it is to be used and maintained.
10.  The procedures for reporting injuries and rehabilitation.
11.  First aid facilities and procedures.
12.  The health and safety representative and health and safety committee structure and objectives
13.  The arrangements for oversight and supervision of occupational health, safety and welfare.


I have been provided with information and understand both mine and my employer’s responsibilities with respect to the issues outlined above.

Signed   ………………….

Date      …………………..


Example of a location induction given to a film crew by a First Assistant Director:


Mark Turnbull, First A.D. has kindly provided the basis for this example.

A check list for legal compliance follows.

Briefing prior to start of filming

(Key points should be identified and repeated daily and at change of location, key points and policies should be repeated on the call sheet, plus Workers Compensation Insurer and contract details)

  1. Under Work Cover legislation, we have a duty of care to each other. In particular HOD’s.  We have a duty of care in our capacity as employees and employers and in turn to the general public that we interact with.  If you are unaware of your responsibilities, please see the Safety Supervisor, The Producer, The Production manager or myself.
  2. If you have a safety issue or need to report a hazard, please see the relevant HOD, the Safety Supervisor, the Production Manager, the Producer or myself, and ensure regardless that you notify your HOD or supervisor.
  3. The safety supervisor is ……………………………….
  4. Please report any incidents or near misses to the Safety Supervisor, the Producer, the Production Manager, your HOD, or myself. These need to be documented.
  5. The nurse on set is ………………………….. If you have any medical conditions, please inform him/her.  Please see him/her immediately if you are injured.  Can be contacted on Channel 1 of the radio.
  6. First Aid kit is located ………………..
  7. Toilets are located ……………..
  8. Tea and coffee is located ……………………………..
  9. Notes on parking/unit requests
  10. Policies:
  • The production is committed to ensuring compliance with the NSW OHS legislation and the Film and Television Safety Code of Practice.
  • No unsafe situation will be tolerated.
  • All hazards are to be notified immediately.
  • All accidents and incidents are to be reported immediately.
  • Food and drinks – No food or drinks on electrical equipment, on set or in houses, exceptions for water in bottles with lids. Info on meal breaks. Ask unit for instruction if unfamiliar with use of urns, coffee plungers or other coffee machines.
  • Electrical Appliances – all appliances are to be tested and tagged. Do not plug anything in until verified by the electrics department.
  • Emergency equipment is there for emergencies and is not to be used for any other purpose without the express permission of the person responsible for the equipment.
  • Protective Clothing – if outside, cover up to protect from weather, sun, use sunscreen every 2 hours, covered shoes. Other protective clothing (vests, goggles, ear protection, masks, etc) ……………………
  • Manual Handling – assess each lift and use mechanical lifts where possible. Get help where required or if unsure.  Others should take care to give way wherever possible to those carrying or maneuvering equipment.
  • Working near roads – safety vests to be worn unless working in totally barricaded area. Adequate traffic control for safe loading and unloading of trucks.
  • Importance of proper rest breaks and self care – 10 hour turnaround. See myself, nurse, Production Manager or HOD if suffering from fatigue or unwell, or feel under undue stress for any reason.
  • No bullying or harassment of any kind will be tolerated. If you witness any such incidents or are a victim yourself, report it to the Production Manager or Registered Nurse.
  • No one is to work while under the effects of drugs or alcohol – neither is to be consumed while at work. See nurse or myself if you are on any prescription medications that may affect your work.

Both Health/Safety and Environmental Issues:

  • Smoking – no smoking in any enclosed or under cover area, and even if outside, never near the camera or other people, especially children. Bin all butts!
  • EPA – all rubbish is to be disposed of correctly. General garbage in unit bins.  Anything sharp should be wrapped to prevent injury to garbage handlers.  Other industrial waste to be disposed of correctly.  If unsure, see Production Manager.
  1. Please Keep all exits in the locations free of gear and make sure we all have clear access and egress to the set/studio/street. All exterior doors are an exit in an emergency.
  2. In the event of an emergency we should all exit to the designated assembly point which is ………………………………………. and await the emergency services. My self and the safety supervisor will coordinate the evacuation and the Production manager or designate will undertake a name check to ensure everyone is out.
  3. The Production has mobile phones, as do I, in an emergency.
  4. Emergency numbers are on the call sheet.

Dial 000  for Police, Fire or ambulance from a land line or CDMA mobile phone, or 112 if dialing from a GSM mobile phone. Ensure the first AD and production are notified ASAP.

  1. Fire extinguishers, supplied by …………………………………………. are located …………………………….
  2. Notes on hazards and risk controls for current location, procedures.
  3. Outline shooting schedule, and reassure crew that a clear announcement will be made when each new set up is commenced, outlining set up details, camera angels, action and special issues associated with each set-up.
  4. Notes on stunts ……………………………..
  5. Notes on Special Effects ……………………………..
  6. Notes on children, animals, other special considerations …………………………………………………………………………..
  7. Notes on any changes to location and who will brief workers on hazards, risks and controls.
  8. Invite HOD’s to explain hazards/sequences
  9. Are there any hazardous substances/plant being introduced to the location today?
  10. New crew and cast, or any others who missed this briefing can be briefed by the Safety Supervisor, Key Department Heads or myself.
  11. Consultation Method.

The method of consultation decided on by you for this production is …………………

OR, if not already established:

Under the legislation we have a requirement to consult with you about issues that may affect your health and safety, and this briefing forms a part of that consultation.

There are 3 methods of consultation recognized by WorkCover; forming a committee, using OHS representatives or “other agreed methods” which would be something we all agree on, for example, daily “tool box meetings” with 5 minutes allocated discussion time at the start of each day.  Which ever method we use, we have to agree and formalize it.

  • Establish type of consultation -Vote on committee, or reps, or other methods.
  • If committee – elect representatives, establish meeting schedule, training, management reps and communication methods
  • If safety representatives – elect, establish roles, communication methods and training, promotion.
  • If “other agreed arrangements” – establish format, scheduling, promotion, communication, training.

(Suggested for TVC’s:

  • a thorough briefing prior to arrival on location which cold include providing copies of the safety report, and discussing issues relevant to the employee’s role, particularly in respect of identifying potential or known hazards and methods of control.
  • Induction training for all employees, pre, shoot or post
  • Additionally, a comprehensive induction talk by the First AD at call on the first shoot day
  • Ensure Induction training for any late arrivals
  • Additionally, a “tool box talk” each day with time allocated for discussion
  • Safety Supervisor, to coordinate communications and facilitate resolving safety issues through the Production Manager, HOD’s and First AD.
  • Suggest each department elect and train an OHS representative)
  1. For the record, did the Producer of ………………., name ……………. hear me give this briefing? Acknowledge response.

Remind everyone to be safe.

Example of an Induction for Extras:

Based on an induction for a television drams, to be given by the second AD

Introduction to set for extras (and miscellaneous cast) on short calls/ single days

This guide was compiled after a specific request from the Additional Directors (AD’s)a well known television drama Additional Directors (ADs) in an attempt to address the issue of inducting casuals who are on short calls, usually 4 to 8 hours, on a one off basis, who are supervised at all times when on set, and corralled in allocated areas when off set.  The Production Company is keen to ensure they receive sufficient information to be able to undertake their work safely, and not put others at risk.  Extras often arrive at different times to the call time, and the full set induction would be both irrelevant and impractical in most cases.  They require information more specific to their own needs, recognizing an often lesser familiarity with on set conditions balanced generally by a lower level of risk in their work; the fact that they are supervised when on set and the fact that they are usually on short calls.

Note:  In a higher risk situation, this may not meet legislative obligations of the production company, and should be reviewed for each episode and more often as necessary, with particular regard to applicability, effectiveness, and efficiency, and the age, competencies and experience of the participants.  The Alliance strongly recommends consulting extras as to how effective they found it; if there is anything the extras or crew who work with them would find helpful to be included, or wording amended to enhance clarity; and then review the presentation accordingly.

This brief is not sufficient for employees undertaking technical or otherwise hazardous work.  For example, it does not cover an extra grip coming on to work for a day, who would require induction into the grips department, nor would it cover a cast member or extra who was asked to operate a hazardous piece of equipment, such as a cutting or lifting device, for which they were not specifically trained and the production had not sighted evidence of their relevant training.

If children are on set, additional information will be required for carers and a special briefing prepared and delivered to the children, taking into account their age and comprehension abilities.

Be aware that if an area is designated a construction site, that 3 formal levels of induction are additionally required.  More information can be found in Part 8.2 (Construction) of the New South Wales Occupational Health and Safety Regulation 2001.

Employees must be given sufficient information to be able to do their job safely.  (Refer to chapter 2, Clause 13 of the New South Wales Occupational Health and Safety Regulation 2001 for information on further requirements.)  The amount and type of information, instruction and training, and the timing of its provision, must be given commensurate with the level of risk to health and safety concerned.

Consider explaining that the extras briefing is not a formal induction into Channel 7 or All Saints, but is merely relevant to the days shooting.

It is suggested that the Production Office, in consultation with relevant parties prepare the briefing for the ADs to deliver.  The fact that supervisors can be held responsible for their actions or omissions have led to concerns about the potential culpability of those delivering induction briefings.  Due to the changeable nature of film sets and fear of missing out something, ADs have expressed a reluctance to take on the responsibility.  ADs have suggested they would feel happier if the Production Company should acknowledge this predicament and retain responsibility for the contents in the briefing.

Introduction to set for cast and extras on short calls/ single days

All Saints production company to review briefing to ensure it reflects objectives of All Saints and Channel 7, and to provide additional information to be provided during briefing.  Sources of additional information may come from the safety report, heads of departments, contractors, premises controllers, union, Children’s Employment Unit, or other relevant persons or organisations.

Example of an outline for a briefing to be given by Second Assistant Director (AD)

  1. Introduce yourself.

Hello, and welcome to All Saints.  I am (insert name…….) and am the (insert position …2nd AD).  We are a safe set and need your co-operation to ensure neither you nor anyone else are injured by something you or others may contribute to, however inadvertently.  To achieve this, we have a few basic rules and ask that if at any time you are unsure of an instruction or feel uncomfortable with what you’re being asked to do from a safety perspective, please see either myself or, if you are on set, one of the other ADs.

  1. Set the scene:

Today you will be  ..…. (tell them about the set and general action)

  1. Set the rules:
  • You must not do anything to endanger yourselves or others
  • You must obey safety instructions
  • If you are aware of any hazards, please notify one of the ADs ASAP
    • A hazard is anything which may injure someone or damage property.
  • If you are injured, please report to an AD or go straight to (insert name of nurse or first aider ……. )
  • In case of fire or other emergency, report straight to an AD. If you can find a safe exit easily, exit closing doors behind you and immediately report to an AD in the assembly area, which is (insert where assembly area is ……..)
  • Please do not touch any equipment you are not authoriesd to use.
  • Be aware that not all items are what they may seem on set – some props are very fragile, therefore please do not touch, sit on or lean against any items, unless you have been given clearance from an AD.
  • Always give way to anyone carrying or moving heavy equipment
  • Safety notes from production specific to day or location ……
  1. Housekeeping:
    • Location of toilets, sunscreen, tea coffee, etc. (+Notes on coffee plunger)
    • Importance of notifying an AD if leaving area (to go to toilet, wardrobe, etc)
    • General set protocol (mime, action/cut, repeating same action unless asked to vary, concentrate, mobile phones, eye lines, no skylarking, etc.)
    • Smoking policies – e.g.: No smoking in any undercover area, around set or anyone else. No drugs or alcohol.
    • Forms to complete, signing out, etc. ….
    • Channel 7 OHS Policies and Procedures and the episode Safety Report are available at the (insert where, e.g. Unit Truck…………) should you wish to peruse them.
    • Do you have any questions?
    • Reminder to feel free to question anything throughout the day.
  2. Conclusion:

Thank you for your patience.  Have an enjoyable and safe day.

  1. When they go to set:

Introduce them to the person on set that they should report to.

 All departments:

Register for all equipment (including plant and tools)
  • Description
  • Serial Number
  • Date of Purchase
  • Owner
  • Maintenance schedule
  • Date tested
  •  Legislative compliance

Hazardous Substances Management systems –

  • Procedures and policies – including conditions of use
  • Training and information
  • Identification of all hazardous substances
  • MSDS for all hazardous substances
  • Risk Assessment on use of each product
  • Facilities and training to use substances according to manufacturers instructions
  • All hazardous substances recorded in a manifest
  • Labeling
  • Storage and transport
  • Consultation
  • Sufficient back-up emergency and first aid facilities and personnel.

Compliance with Dangerous Goods Act – storage and transport of dangerous goods

Plant/equipment requiring power:

  • Residual Current Devices (RCD’s) on all power outlets
  • No piggy-back plugs
  • All equipment checked and tagged and current
  • Tagging and lock-out procedures for faulty equipment

OHS Management Systems

System to ensure effective Risk Management

Safe Work Practice Statements – system to ensure compliance

Working in isolation

Availability of OHS support


Hours of work

Staffing levels


 Cleaning – general

Chemical substance spill

Contaminated equipment, waste

Hair/Make-up checklist

Experience, qualifications, information, training, supervision

  • Van: General:
  • Stable,
  • Clean
  • Hand washing facilities – hot and cold running water, soap, towel.
  • Access/egress
  • Steps stable, hand-rails
  • Hot & Cold running water (Hot temp limited)
  • Lighting – both for work and access
  • Ergonomic seats and benches – comfort for both person in chair and optimum height for make-up/hairdresser
  • Non-slip floors and stairs
  • Secure storage
  • Hazardous Substances register and training
  • Segregate incompatible substances
  • All substances correctly labeled according to NOHSC requirements
  • MSDS for all hazardous products (check cleaning, some exfoliants, etc) and
  • appropriate precautions in place.
  • Information on all therapeutic substances
  • Procedures to address proactive identification of sensitivities, both to cast and employees
  • Procedures to deal with treatment of sensitivities
  • Equipment and procedures to clean up and dispose of chemical waste and chemical substance spills
  • Risk assessment and consultation on all products, substances and plant
  • Ventilation – EPA guidelines
  • Refrigerator
  • Microwave checked for leakage
  • Easy to clean
  • Sterilization and general cleaning methods.
  • hair dyes,
  • Privacy
  • Communications
  • Personal Safety and Security
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – appropriate gloves, safety masks, goggles, aprons, shoes
  • Temperature control
  • Sufficient power switches
  • Position of power switches – safe, accessible, convenient
  • All electrical checked and tagged
  • RCD’s on all power points/systems.
  • Plant:
  • Register of equipment, serial numbers, date tested.
  • Maintenance schedules and records and manufacturer’s instructions for all plant
  • Noise levels
  • Vibration
  • Burns from hot rollers or heat irons (hair)
  • Burns from hot washers from microwave
  • Training – requirements assessed and addressed
  • Procedures to address:
  • Special procedures for masks and other prosthetics
  • Biological Hazards
  • Radiation Hazards (microwave ovens)

Manual Handling –

  • equipment and procedures to address manual handling issues and address muscular-skeletal injuries
  • size and weight of kits – especially lifting out of boots of car or other awkward areas
  • Occupational Overuse Syndrome (OOS) (sometimes referred to as RSI)
    • Address repetition, duration of tasks
    • Adequate rest breaks, job rotation where necessary

Fatigue management

  • Scheduling – Address hours of work, early starts, late finishes, turn-arounds

Other Health /Safety and Environmental Issues:

  • Noise
  • Ventilation
  • Vibration
  • No Smoking
  • Waste Management – contaminated waste
  • EPA guidelines –disposal – what goes down drains from trucks

Staff: sufficiently qualified – experience, training and knowledge.

Level of supervision required.


  • Clean
  • Manageable – RM for manual handling and ergonomic use
  • Insulation to maintain temperature control and protect products
  • Procedures to address adjusting expiry dates of products exposed to high temperatures or other complicating factors


Sunscreen for cast

Policies/Procedures to address:

  • Use of aerosols – deodorants, hairsprays, airbrushing

Plant/equipment requiring power:

  • Residual Current Devices (RCD’s) on all power outlets
  • No piggy-back plugs
  • All equipment checked and tagged and current
  • Tagging and lock-out procedures for faulty equipment

PPE – appropriate for each requirement, clean and well maintained.

  • Gloves
  • Masks
  • Safety Glasses

Plant – tools, appliances – manufacturer’s instructions


Experience, qualifications, information, training, supervision


Access / egress

Secure steps +- handrails


Non-slip floors


Secure seating for dressing

Secure storage

No clutter

Sufficient space

Separate area for iron and ironing board

Washing machines and dryers


Heat and cold

MSDS and appropriate procedures


Products for “breaking down”




Manual handling

PPE (gloves to protect from dyes and other substances)

All appliances checked and tagged.

Trip hazards – electrical cords,

Access to showers and toilets if applicable.

Plant/equipment requiring power:

  • Residual Current Devices (RCD’s) on all power outlets
  • No piggy-back plugs
  • All equipment checked and tagged and current
  • Tagging and lock-out procedures for faulty equipment

Strict barricading and supervision if children present


Experience, qualifications, information, training, supervision

Designers – consult with manufacturers and performers where possible

Temperature control


Acquired positions

Proper fit

Material sensitivities



Contact lens (special provisions)


Fire retardants

Sufficient to cover stunt pads

Sun protection

Ability to have full mobility and vision


Ergonomics, lighting, ventilation, electrics, machine guards

Machines sufficient to cope with required task safely.

Plant/equipment requiring power:

  • Residual Current Devices (RCD’s) on all power outlets
  • No piggy-back plugs
  • All equipment checked and tagged and current
  • Tagging and lock-out procedures for faulty equipment

Unusual costumes

The following was compiled after repeated queries about assessing hazards and controlling the related risks associated with unusual costumes.

  1. refer to the Occupational Risk Management in the Film and Television Industry – Draft National Safety Guidelines, Section 46.1 Costumes.
  2. Considerations:

Address costume issues in the design stage – design the costumes so as to be safe for the maker, wearer and maintenance personnel – non-irritant, comfortable, ventilated, easy to get in and out of, and communicate through, easy to sew (or outsource to a sail maker or similar if extremely heavy fabric), address manual handling issues, ensure wearer can maneuver safely in environment, etc.

Many companies have policies based on the outcomes of their risk assessments and safe work method statements.  An example of this is a flat policy that performers should always be accompanies by a minder and should never be in a suit for longer than 30 minutes.  This may suffice in circumstances the company repeatedly do the same performance, and have trialed and are comfortable with the outcome, but when any of the variables change; so should the controls.

Be aware that changes in the costume, wearer, performance, environment and location can all vary the outcome, so each case should be considered in terms of its context.

Under legislative requirements in most Australian states and territories, there is a requirement to take a risk management approach, where you identify all the hazards and assess their risk level, taking into consideration their likelihood and relative consequences, and then develop and implement controls to ensure the level of risk is kept very low where the risk cannot be totally eliminated.

More information on undertaking a risk assessment can be found on the Get Safe Now web page under OH&S resources/Guides and Codes.

Where the level of risk is medium to high, you should consider writing a safe work method statement to back up your risk assessment, which clearly address the issues, and clearly outlines the steps to be taken to control the risks.  (Refer to the end for an example)

Among the many things to consider when identifying the associated hazards and considering the controls would be: (Note: this is not exhaustive, and every situation has to be looked at independently taking into consideration the context and all the variables)

How heavy is the costume?

Will the person have to stand in it for long periods?

Does any part put undue stress on any particular body part?

Are extra costume personnel or equipment required to help performer get dressed and undressed?

Would providing a special stool or other support device help?

Will the personnel making and maintaining the costume have sufficient staff numbers, manual handling (lifting) devices and other necessary equipment to work safely with the costume?

Is the martial of such heavy (or light) material that special sewing machines/needles/equipment are required and people properly trained in their use?

Should any part of the costume production or maintenance be outsourced to specialists who are better equipped to deal with the costume?

Is the costume so light, long, flowing or otherwise loose that it is likely to catch on objects or become a trip or fire hazard?

What are the wearer’s physical capabilities – age, fitness, etc

Will the costume impede movement?

Will they be able to safely cope with the set or location?

●       Does the costume impose any restrictions?

  • Does the costume impede the clear flow of air?
  • Can the wearer get sufficient oxygen?
  • Is there a chance of a carbon dioxide build up in the suit?
  • If so- how do you intend to alter the suit to improve it, and as a back-up, monitor the airflow and performer’s condition?
  • Does the costume in any way impede the visual abilities of the wearer?
  • Is communications impaired in any way? – visibility, hearing, verbal, actions
  • Mobility – how easy is it to move in costume and what are they expected to move over, on and around


  • Access to rest breaks
  • Food, drinks and toilet
  • Access to mineral replacement fluids
  • How to get in and out of costume
  • How long will they be in costume for
  • Do strict time limits need to be imposed, and if so, what?
  • What is the environment they propose to be working in?
  • How will you get the person out of the costume in an emergency? (Particularly if they are unconscious or injured and can’t help)
  • Fire – how quickly can you get them out of the suit if there is a fire, and can they evacuate quickly in case of an emergency
  • What are you going to do if the costume catches on fire?
  • Can they get out of the suit themselves if their minder is incapacitated?
  • Are there hazards near-by which pose particular hazards (eg. if they fell in a swimming pool, would they drown?)
  • How will you be able to monitor their physical condition?
  • Medical back-up
  • Physical attributes of performer
  • Physical fitness of performer

External environment:

  • Noise
  • Heat
  • Cold
  • Ground cover
  • Space


  • Public – many children hit out at “walking stuffed animals”
  • Establish security and safety policies – eg. 2 people to accompany person in suit at all times, especially if directed not to talk (allows one to leave if necessary to get drinks, etc – person in a confined suit should NEVER be left alone) in public
  • Pinch points
  • Circulation constraints – Time spent in suspending harnesses
  • How to clean suit (people tend to sweat profusely in them)
  • Scheduled breaks – need many breaks due to fluid loss
  • Consider job rotation, extra suits and stand-ins.
  • Claustrophobia
  • Area made safe – hazards assessed with consideration of costume restrictions (fire, visibility, mobility, hearing/communications impairment, security)


Example of a risk assessment for an animal costume – risk of wearer overheating and suffering heat stroke.


Suit to be worn by fit performer/s (age mid 20’s), for shopping centre performances during the Christmas holidays, involving dancing and running around.

Hazard:  Risk of performer overheating

Note – this is confined to overheating only, and does not take into account visibility,  trip hazards, etc.

 Risk Assessment – chance of overheating and getting heat exhaustion in shopping centre when performing is very likely, which gives a risk level of 2 (Based on “Very likely” plus “medical attention and several days off”).

Note, that because it is often hard to monitor the performers condition inside a suit, the condition can quickly progress to heat stroke, which can be fatal. Although slightly less likely, it is in the circumstances still likely and the outcome is considerably more serious.  An assessment of heat stroke would result in a level 1 risk (“likely” plus kill or “permanent disability or ill health”.

(note: if it was outside or under hot lights, the chance would be very likely – consideration of the use of a pulse oximeter may be appropriate in this case) and the consequences would be heat exhaustion in the first instance, closely followed by heat stroke, with the potential of death.

Controls would involve:

Considering if the suit was necessary (can you eliminate it?)

Can you substitute the suit for something cooler and easier to move around in – ie. Designing a better suit.

Designing the suit to allow clear visibility, quick and easy access (particularly being able to get it off easily), good air ventilation and easy communications and monitoring abilities.

Design administrative procedures to ensure safety of performer (see below)

Ensuring the performer/s are fit and healthy, and that they, their minders, the technical staff, other performers, producers, shopping center management and first aiders and support personnel are all aware of the limitations and procedures.

Consult with the performers and suit designers, manufacturers and maintenance personnel to see how the suit and controls can be improved.

Example of a safe work method to highlight the controls and back up the risk assessment:

The performer is to have a medical check before commencing with the company, and is to maintain fitness (company to provide fitness method in consultation with performer and medical advice).  Performer to advise the production company if unwell prior to performance, and to inform first-aider/nurse if feeling unwell at any time during or after the performance.

The performer is not to be in the suit for more than 30 minutes at a time (to be reviewed if external environment changes or if controls not working), and substitute performers to are to be employed if a performance is envisioned to go for any longer, or if it is expected to be a particularly hot day or hot environment, or in the case that there may be delays for what-ever reason.


The production and gaffer should establish a system to ensure all hazards within or affected by the electrics department are identified and controlled, and that there is a systematic method of checking and maintaining infrastructure and equipment, and ensuring personnel are given sufficient information to work safely in their jobs.

Consultation with personnel and other departments should additionally identify hazards that may affect the workers or the way work is carried out, whether from within the electrics department, for from other departments or external sources.

Some general areas to consider would include:

Qualifications – Knowledge, Training, Supervision.

Legal Compliance

Manual Handling


Hazardous substances (acid, oil, carbon monoxide, cleaning)

Fire prevention, equipment, procedures and training

Dangerous goods

Tagging procedures

Lock out procedures

Working at heights

Grids – secured


Elevated work platforms


Overhead power cables

(Remember, tiger tails will not stop you getting electrocuted, they are however a useful visual aid to reminding workers of their presence.)








Cable ramps and mats

Heat from lamps



Driver skills and licenses

Truck/storage/work area access/egress

Ergonomics in truck

Ergonomics of equipment

Working around traffic or other hazards

Fatigue management

Rest breaks, job rotation


Moving from dark to bright areas

Trip hazards



Procedures to protect baby’s eyes from bright lights

Complicating factors:

  • Night shoots
  • Distant or bush locations
  • Rain
  • Wind conditions
  • Lightening
  • Special effects – water, snow, smoke, explosions, flying objects
  • Heat
  • Cold
  • Uneven ground
  • Fatigue

Plant/equipment requiring power:

  • Residual Current Devices (RCD’s) on all power outlets
  • No piggyback plugs
  • All equipment checked and tagged and current
  • Tagging and lock-out procedures for faulty equipment
  • Policies and procedures to address non-electrics department electrical equipment

Other considerations:

  • Clear access to all working areas of and around the set.
  • Cables laid so as to:
    • not to build up heat,
    • not be exposed to injury,
    • not cause injury (especially trip hazard)
  • Security
  • People working above
  • Working above others
  • On set action
  • External physical influences (crowds, tides, traffic, etc.)
  • Political issues – (eg. keeping the locals safe and happy when on location)


Training, Experience, Supervision, Competencies, Qualifications

  • Assessed, recorded

Policies, procedures, equipment, systems, training, assessments,

  • Manual Handling
  • Working at heights
  • Cranes
  • Tracks
  • Rigging, Scaffold licenses
  • Ladders
  • Tracking vehicles
  • Dolly
  • Hanging blacks
  • Working near roads

Equipment –  maintenance, service, authorised users, policies and procedures

Common injuries for Grips:

Sprain injuries –

  • manual handling – design of equipment (weight, size, handles)

Slips, trips, falls

  • Tracks
  • Ladders
  • Camera/Sound cables – wrangled
  • Heights – harness, barricading

Jammed fingers –

  • Dolly, equipment

Fatigue Related Injuries

  • Stress –both physical and emotional
  • General Increased injury rate
  • Motor Vehicle Accidents

Manage fatigue –

  • Appropriate scheduling
  • Monitor and consult workers

Plant/equipment requiring power:

  • Residual Current Devices (RCD’s) on all power outlets
  • No piggy-back plugs
  • All equipment checked and tagged and current
  • Tagging and lock-out procedures for faulty equipment


Experience, qualifications, information, training, supervision

Sufficient amenities


Hand washing (hot and cold running water)


Tea and coffee table – urn protected (insulated and secure)

Clean drinking water.


Tables and chairs – clean and secure

Coffee Machines/plungers – induction training

Rubbish – removed daily

Fire systems –

  • Training
  • Fire extinguishers and other equipment,
  • Fire blankets,
  • Fire exits – clear
  • Evacuation plans
  • Assembly points
  • System to check patency, service of equipment

Fatigue management

Plant/equipment requiring power:

  • Residual Current Devices (RCD’s) on all power outlets
  • No piggy-back plugs
  • All equipment checked and tagged and current
  • Tagging and lock-out procedures for faulty equipment


Experience, qualifications, information, training, supervision

Working in isolation

Access to amenities – clean toilets, shelter

Sufficient breaks and rest periods

Plant/equipment requiring power:

  • Residual Current Devices (RCD’s) on all power outlets
  • No piggy-back plugs
  • All equipment checked and tagged and current
  • Tagging and lock-out procedures for faulty equipment


Experience, qualifications, information, information, training, supervision

Compliant with health regulations

Exits – gas bottles not at only exit.


Plant/equipment requiring power:

  • Residual Current Devices (RCD’s) on all power outlets
  • No piggy-back plugs
  • All equipment checked and tagged and current
  • Tagging and lock-out procedures for faulty equipment

Special Effects

Experience, qualifications, information, training, supervision

Through risk assessment done on all proposed activities

Hazardous Substances policies and procedures

MSDS on all hazardous substances

Hazardous and Dangerous goods identified, stored and transported and used in accordance with manufacturers instructions and legal requirements

Identify when and which licenses and permissions/authorizations are required and obtain, especially n regard to explosions and water use.

Check for variations in requirements if traveling interstate.

Refer to costumes for flying suits

Explosions –

Experience, Training, qualifications, information, competencies, supervision



Assess back-up facilities – particularly fire and first aid.

Emergency services notified

Closely consult with art department/ designers to ensure sets are designed to withstand use of SFX, with particular regard to ventilation, flammability, toxicity of set should a fire result.

Plant/equipment requiring power:

  • Residual Current Devices (RCD’s) on all power outlets
  • No piggy-back plugs
  • All equipment checked and tagged and current
  • Tagging and lock-out procedures for faulty equipment

 Smoke/fog machines – refer to Safety Code.

 Art Dept:

Experience, qualifications, information, training, supervision

Obligations of Designers, manufacturers, suppliers.

Construction, use and dismantling and disposal of set and dressings all assessed for risk during the design stage.

Assess location for risk and address prior to commencing work.

Sufficient and clean amenities – toilets, hand washing, drinking water

Access to food, shelter.



Slip, Trip, Fall hazards

Working at Height hazards,

Manual handling hazards

Confined Spaces

Structural integrity of buildings

Other location specific hazards – near roads, near water, extreme climates

Legislative compliance

Hazardous Substances Management systems –

  • Procedures and policies – including conditions of use
  • Training and information
  • Identification of all hazardous substances
  • MSDS for all hazardous substances
  • Risk Assessment on use of each product
  • Facilities and training to use substances according to manufacturers instructions
  • All hazardous substances recorded in a manifest
  • Labeling
  • Storage and transport
  • Consultation
  • Sufficient back-up emergency and first aid facilities and personnel.

Compliance with Dangerous Goods Act – storage and transport of dangerous goods

Plant/equipment requiring power:

  • Residual Current Devices (RCD’s) on all power outlets
  • No piggy-back plugs
  • All equipment checked and tagged and current
  • Tagging and lock-out procedures for faulty equipment

OHS Management Systems

System to ensure effective Risk Management

Safe Work Practice Statements – system to ensure compliance

Working in isolation

Availability of OHS support


Hours of work

Staffing levels



Experience, qualifications, information, training, supervision

Competencies assessed and recorded.

Construction, use and dismantling and disposal of set and dressings all assessed for risk during the design stage.

Induction Training:

  • Evidence of undertaking WorkCover accredited Induction training for the Construction industry.
  • System to ensure induction training for each place of work.
  • System to ensure induction into each job.

Hazardous Substances Management systems

  • Procedures and policies – including conditions of use
  • Training and information
  • Identification of all hazardous substances
  • MSDS for all hazardous substances
  • Risk Assessment on use of each product
  • Facilities and training to use substances according to manufacturers instructions
  • All hazardous substances recorded in a manifest
  • Labeling
  • Storage and transport
  • Consultation
  • Sufficient back-up emergency and first aid facilities and personnel.

Plant/equipment requiring power:

  • Residual Current Devices (RCD’s) on all power outlets
  • No piggy-back plugs
  • All equipment checked and tagged and current
  • Tagging and lock-out procedures for faulty equipment

Amenities (including first aid)


Spray painting booths – according to relevant Australian Standards

Hours of work

Staffing levels


Machine maintenance, purchasing, guards, use

Cleaning/ clean-up.

Bump in and out – planning


(to be continued)



                  Opender Chanana


Mr. Chanana is  an Alumnus of Satish Chander Dhawan Government  ,Ludhiana-India.This premier institution completes it’s 100th year of establishment.

He has been associated with Drama- and Cinema right since college days and was also awarded college colour then. Mr. Chanana makes Film Documentaries in Mumbai and his documentary,  LIVING ON THE EDGE-DEGLAMOURIZING BOLLYWOOD depicting poor plight of cine workers has been rewarded globally with 350 plus awards till date ,thus recognising issues raised by him.   Kudos to Opender Chanana for his relentless efforts for a cause so dear to him.



Please submit your comments in the comment box below..


Rippie kaur October 21, 2021 at 11:17 am

Our entertainment industry claims to be a global giant and your relentless efforts to highlight the primitive working conditions is unparalleled

Heerkani Bhosle October 27, 2021 at 3:02 pm

Identify, Assess, Control if cannot be Eliminated,
You Mr Chanana, made it so easy to reach out and thank you for the efforts you have been relentlessly taking and continue to do so for a revolutionary movement kind of step. All towards and for the safety of each soul working in the industry. More power to you and will always support in every form.
Thank you for the lovely article, may this reach out to everyone out there.


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