Actsafe’s first Injury Prevention Week brings safety to the set

The week’s theme focused on safety when working at the back of vehicles. To reach out to workers, the Actsafe team visited film sets around B.C. 

Photo of worker putting high-visibility tape on the back of a truck

Photo credit: Actsafe Safety Association (used with
permission)

Working at the back of vehicles is one of the most significant hazards for workers in the film industry. That’s why Actsafe (the health and safety association for B.C.’s entertainment industry) focused on this issue during their first-ever Actsafe Injury Prevention (AIP) Week, which ran from November 5 to 9, 2018.

Actsafe reports that 58 percent of grips have experienced a work-related injury due to loading or unloading trucks. In case you didn’t know, grips are film crew workers who work on equipment that supports cameras and lighting. They use tripods, overhead tracks, dollies, and other equipment.

“Back here, safety matters”

The theme for this first AIP Week was “Back here, safety matters” — referring to being at the back of a vehicle. During the week, members of the Actsafe team visited 33 productions and dropped off welcome bags containing resources, tips, and specialty tape for truck tailgates.

“They all welcomed us with open arms,” said Actsafe’s acting executive director, Don Parman. “It was a great icebreaker to get people chatting — especially for new and young workers who haven’t yet come through one of our safety classes.”

Actsafe also posted daily tips on Twitter and Facebook during the week, including:

  • Know how to spot vehicles and use proper hand signals
  • Level vehicles and secure them with wheel chock blocks
  • Know how to use vehicle lift gates
  • Wear proper footwear when working around vehicles
  • Know how to load and unload work trucks

Reaching a transient workforce

Film and TV productions tend to be on the move, so AIP Week provided a great opportunity for reaching workers. Says Don: “With the transient nature of the workforce, this was a really good way to get in touch.”

Don says he and his team at Actsafe are working on another new event that will launch in Spring 2019. I’ll have an update on that when I know more — in the meantime, thanks to Don for answering all my questions. Check out the Actsafe website for more information on AIP Week 2018.

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