Moviemaking can be exciting and lucrative, but beneath the glitz and glamour lies unique risk. Indeed, the idea of someone hanging on to the side of an Airbus 400 as it takes off is probably a health and safety professional’s worst nightmare. Equally, driving an armoured truck in to the lobby of a crowded Las Vegas casino is likely to raise pulses.
Without a doubt, stunts in modern-day film franchises have become increasingly daring, with each subsequent installment relying on courageous (or downright nuts) performers to up the spectacle in the hope of achieving a sure-fire hit at the ticket office.
It’s only with meticulous preparation however, planning, hours of practice and years of training which make it possible for performers to put on the harness and take the beatings, but above all else, strict health and safety procedures.
If Hollywood can teach us anything, it’s that risk assessments and safe operating procedures are a serious and vital part of health and safety to ensure a safe and healthy working environment – keeping employers, employees and even Hollywood action stars safe. To put some context behind this, we’ve identified several reasons why having a suitable and sufficient risk assessment should be the number one priority for your business:
A risk assessment is one of the most fundamental aspects of good health and safety practice, as well as a legal requirement and should be conducted before employees complete work on current or new processes. Businesses must therefore consider the possible risks for causing harm or ill-health and what steps to take in preventing the risks in the first place.
It’s crucial to note that contrary to popular belief, spotting potential risks by conducting a risk assessment is not a way of stopping activities which could result in injury or ill-health, rather it identifies ways of enabling people to do things in a safe manner.
There is considerable evidence borne out by companies’ practical experiences that effective health and safety management in the workplace contributes to business success. Accidents and ill-health inflict significant costs, often hidden and underestimated and can contribute to significant losses in revenue through compensation and accident claims.
Carrying out a risk assessment, preparing a safety statement and implementing what’s been written down are not only central to any health and safety management system, they are required by law. Health and safety authority inspectors visiting workplaces will want to know how employers are managing safety and health. If they investigate an accident, they will scrutinise the risk assessments and health and safety policy, and the procedures and work practices in use. Employers can often be prosecuted if they do not have and safety policy.
Moral and ethical
Employers are ethically bound to do all they can to ensure that their employees do not suffer illness, a serious accident or death. The process of carrying out a risk assessment, preparing a health and safety policy and implementing the correct procedures will help employers prevent injuries and ill-health at work.
When carrying out a risk assessment, it’s important to remember that one size doesn’t fit all. While risk assessments form the foundation of every organisation, each businesses’ risks will differ, particularly when throwing oddities like the film industry into the mix.
The good news is there are a number of risk assessments that can be applied which are relevant to a businesses’ individual needs including; COSHH, Risk Assessment, Fire Risk Assessment, DSE and MORR™ among others.