Safety on set is the most important thing for producers of any sized project. Work time, rest time, travel time, work environment, proper equipment use, safe equipment rigging…the list goes on. While producers often rely on their crew to ensure safety protocols are physically put in place it is ultimately the producer’s (legal and moral) responsibility to ensure that all aspects of production process are safe and to ensure a safe and healthy workplace including freedom from harassment and bullying.
There are several resources that one can use to ensure a safe set. Here are just a few:
- SAG/AFTRA Safety Hotline: 844-SAFER SET (844-723-3773)
- Safe Sets International: https://practicesafesets.co/
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA): https://osha.oregon.gov/workers/Pages/index.aspx. In addition to being a place to report safety hazards and concerns, they have great resources for production companies outlining their required reporting of injuries. Here is link to their hazard reporting page: https://www4.cbs.state.or.us/exs/osha/hazrep/
- Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI): https://www.oregon.gov/boli/pages/index.aspx
In addition, it is important to ensure there is a qualified safety officer on every set and hold daily safety meetings with the production staff at call on every shooting day. In general this is done by the first assistant director and is based on the work that is outlined on that day’s callsheet. It is important that the crew is made aware of the potential dangers in that day’s work as well as given a chance to give input and ask questions about that work.
The other thing for producers to closely monitor is the work time and turnaround time of the crew. One of the most dangerous periods for any crew member is the drive home after a long day of production. This danger is exacerbated by several long production days in a row. Car accidents due to fatigue and falling asleep at the wheel are unfortunately common and ensuring that crew members are given options to stay overnight close to distant location sets is imperative.
When using firearms, at a minimum, productions need to employ experienced and qualified safety advisers to review firearm usage, as well as provide firearms training for anyone handling guns on sets. All weapons should be stored in a container(s) which lock when not in use, both on the Prop truck and on set. No one should touch/handle weapons of any kind without proper training and supervision.
When filming intimate or sensitive scenes be sure to employ a trained and qualified Intimacy Coordintator to ensure your actors feel safe and heard.
All sets should be safe for all people. Each production that is part of our incentive program needs to have a written harassment and discrimination policy that includes reporting procedures. Please contact us if you need more information on these policies for your production.
Complaints about unsafe sets can be made to union “shop stewards” on union contracted sets or directly to OSHA and BOLI. You can also contact the Oregon Film Office (firstname.lastname@example.org) with concerns and we will do are best to get more information about the project and/or find the right entity to connect you to. If it is an incentivized projects, incentive funds can be withheld from projects until complaints are adequately addressed.
In short, the quality of your project is directly determined by the talent, health and safety of your crew. Please make sure you give this aspect of your production the focus and attention it deserves.