Nearly three-quarters of UK film and TV crew feel their safety or that of a colleague has been compromised at work, according to a new survey.
On the sixth anniversary of the death of British camera operator Mark Milsome, and two years after the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, a survey by Bectu and the Mark Milsome Foundation revealed a consensus that safety training and protocols need to be improved, and that production companies should take ultimate responsibility for issues affecting shooting crew.
Almost three-quarters of the 733 respondents said they “felt their safety or that of a colleague has been compromised at work”, while more than two-thirds had real concerns regarding people being promoted to positions of responsibility without adequate experience or safety qualifications.
Many also felt reluctant to speak out – all those who reported incidents asked to remain anonymous for fear of jeopardising future employment.
Bectu and the Foundation called on the industry to commit to ensuring everyone working on a production completes the relevant safety courses and to find solutions to a culture of workinglong hours, which also has an impact on safety.
More than 96% of respondents had recently worked 10-plus hour days, not including travel, overtime or other unpaid working time. More than 49% of respondents had worked a day of 10-12 hours, and more than 46% had worked a day lasting 12 hours or more.
Bectu’s national secretary Spencer MacDonald said many crews have “never had even the most basic training or advice on safe working.”
Mark Milsome Foundation chair Samantha Wainstein added: “Mark’s death serves as a poignant reminder of the critical importance of strictly adhering to health and safety guidelines. The Mark Milsome Foundation was established in his memory, and one of the core aspects of our mission is ensuring that no one on a film set dies for the sake of a shot again.”
Milsome was tragically killed in 2017 whilse filming a car stunt in Ghana for the series Black Earth Rising. An inquest later found that he had died an “accidental death” but that “shortly before the execution of the stunt, the risk of Mr Milsome being harmed or fatally injured was not effectively recognised, assessed, communicated or managed.”
Recently, calls for better safety on sets increased after the death of Hutchins, who was killed by a live bullet fired from a prop gun used by actor Alec Baldwin on the set of the film Rust in 2021.
On Tuesday, the BBC also announced that Top Gear will not be returning to TV “for the foreseeable future” after presenter Freddie Flintoff was involved in a crash which led to production of the last series being halted.
Speaking about the issue, actor Rory Kinnear, whose father, Roy Kinnear died after being thrown from a horse while filming the Return of the Musketeers in 1988, said safety on set was essential.
“Thirty years later, things simply haven’t changed,” he told the BBC. “You’ve got a lot of young people wanting to enter an industry that they know is perilous, both financially and in terms of work, but not necessarily aware of how perilous the practices on set are as well.
“Now is the time for this opportunity to be taken in terms of understanding that we don’t need to exclude excitement or creativity or invention for safety, that the two can and must work together.”
Diğer gönderilerimize göz at