Safety Policy

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My station is about to instigate a personal safety policy. It basically sets out rules about the use of electricity, working at heights and using ladders etc (I recently had a rung on a ladder give way under me whilst climbing off a roof from shooting a sports event. Luckily I was close to the ground and nothing was damaged or injured).

Just wondering if anyone else has a specific policy like this, what does it say and does it hamper your work?

<Old Shooter>

We've always had "safety lectures" about twice a year and defensive driving course, for all employees who could drive a company vehicle, every 2 years.
The driving course cut 15% off of our insurance and although boring it did help you remember the way it is supposed to be done and how to limit liability to the company.
I think if you are eligable to fly you should get chopper safety every six months. (I never worry about those who fly every day. It's the reporter who flys every 2 years who will walk thorugh a tail rotor)
Just be sure that whoever is your safety officer (Chief Engineer) knows that photogs take calculated risks with their safety every day.
Also make sure that if safety equipment is required for certain situations that everyone is issued the equipment. I know a station that put the policy in place that you could not be within 100 yards of a brush fire without a grass mask. The engineer then proceeded to buy 2 masks and leave them in the photog locker room.
Be safe but don't let the suits or insurance companies put so many restrictions in place that you can't do your job well.

Dave Putnam

Well-known member
I'm glad to hear your employer is making a move towards a safer workplace. The best safety policy is one that is created with input from the employees doing the work. Be sure that the policy covering your workplace deals with scenarios specific to your georgraphic area (ie: brush fires, severe weather, chemical accidents, known dangerous neighborhoods etc.). Hopefully the policy will be placed in writing and everyone involved will agree not to deviate from it It is also important to stress training and retraining as an important part of any safety program. Speaking from personal experience, it is much better to have a policy and training in place to prevent an accident rather than implementing one after an accident occurs.

I suggest you visit Mark Bell's website for some tips on ENG workplace safety. The IBEW local in Chicago has a copy of the CBS ENG Safety Manual posted on their website click here and then click on the link for the manual. ABC has a similar manual and policy in place at their owned stations and network bureaus. California is the first state in the U.S. to adopt regulations specifically written for our work. Click here to see the California regulations.


I've heard OSHA is investigating a small market station somewhere for safety violations....stay tuned, more to come!
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