H&S in the studio & on location

As part of my professional practices, I have read up on the main aspects of studio health and safety.

There are many hazards in a photography studio, some obvious, some not so, it is the photographer’s job to identify any potential hazards and minimize them (this is also true on location).

At the very least a short induction should be given to anyone visiting the studio for the first time, this could be verbal or a printed handout detailing potential hazards and information in the event of injury a first aid box should be made available and should the need to evacuate arise there should be an obvious unhindered route with a designated meeting point for all concerned when clear of the building. If there are many people on the shoot then a roll call should be kept in the instance of an evacuation.

Lighting can be heavy, hot and powered by high voltages. a studio strobe can be mounted on a tripod or hung from a ceiling on a pantograph rail system, any lighting used should be

Safety is everyones responcibility

inspected for its electrical safety and noted if a PAT sticker is in date.  Any lighting used should be switched off and allowed to cool down before being moved or disassembled. Therecan be wires trailing around to the lighting, mains and sometimes control cables. Where possible run cables along walls and use gaffers tape to secure cables to the floor where people might walk.

 

Care should always be taken when lifting anything heavy and assistance should be requested if needed. All objects raised from ground level should have adequate support provided to hold them in position and this should be

continually assessed during the shoot.

There are many trip hazards in a studio, lighting stands, tripods, and props can all be problematic, be sure to check that fittings are secured and there is enough space for everyone to move around safely, dependent on the requirement of the shoot there could be many people in a small space and each must be made aware of the dangers.

Outdoor shoots can produce even more problems than being in a controlled studio environment, inclement weather would cause electrical and slip hazards. For a professional location shoot, a pre-shoot reconnaissance should be scheduled and a risk assessment drawn up in advance highlighting any potential hazards.

Health and safety observation should be continuous and is the responsibility of everyone on the shoot to report any noted potential problems.