Children in Video 

JR Television (previously JR Productions) has been working with and for children since 1988 and so far, nobody has ever asked for a consent form, nor has anyone asked that their child be excluded from a production. All the political correctness nonsense that enjoys adverse publicity has never entered the JR realm as yet; however, should the unprecedented occur, the following form is available which we would use only if it was paramount  that a specific child was needed and the parents wished to issue their written formal consent. But to be pragmatic, it would be easier to use another child if it were feasible to do so. 

JR Television       
Community Video Productions             

                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Parent/Guardian Consent Form    
Website: jrtelevision.com
Email: jrtelevision@hotmail.com


Dear........  

We are delighted that you are able to bring your child to
……………………………………… for a filming session on …………   to perform/chat to us etc.
It is a legal requirement that we inform you of any health and safety risks associated with your child’s visit and the arrangements that we have made to protect her/him from these risks. Unless otherwise arranged and agreed, your child should be chaperoned at all times by an adult – a parent, guardian or other adult acting in a caring or supervisory role. JR Television staff will be present but will not be acting “in loco parentis”, in caring or supervisory roles.

With all filming, your child will be instructed where the safe areas are, to avoid cameras, cables, which will be taped down or laid in safe positions and other trip hazards.
 
Please could you sign the attached consent form.
Please note that we will not use your child in filming unless we have received a consent form completed by the parent or guardian prior to filming.
If you have any queries, do feel free to contact us.

JR Television

email to: jrtelevision@hotmail.com

Website: www.jrtelevision.com


 

Risk Assessment

by

John Stratford


Points to Cover in Risk Assessment Course – First Thoughts

These notes contain a selection of points gathered into one document that can be used in any risk assessment course and H&S Code of Practice that CSV-Helium Films produce.

Pose the Questions:

Why risk assessment? Isn’t it just a bureaucratic pain to be ignored by any sensible person wanting to get involved with the fun of filming?  It’s just an old fart’s way of making things boring.

NO

a) It’s there to make sure you go home with all your fingers and toes.  It’s all too easy to come a cropper when you’re too wrapped up in what you’re doing (which is what happens when you’re filming) and you’re pushing the boundaries to get that shot to die for … which may turn out to be the literal outcome!!  But more likely you’ll do something that will hurt a lot, and possibly end you up in hospital.  So risk assessment is there to make sure you go home in one piece – and you’re not going to argue against that are you!!

b) But it’s not only there to protect you, it’s there to protect others as well – not just your colleagues on the crew, but the public and other people you’re working with or who might be affected by the activity. You may come out of an incident alright, but how are you going to feel if you’ve been responsible for badly hurting someone else?

You wouldn’t consider trying to walk cross a busy road without looking to see if there are any cars coming at you – so why would you want to take less care just because you’re carrying a camera, putting not just your safety in jeopardy but everyone else’s too?

c) Risk assessment should be seen as a natural part  of the planning of a job – we all probably know the 7Ps – Piss Poor Planning Produces Piss Poor Performance, or a Piss Poor Project!  So when planning your project keep risk assessment in mind all the time.

d) Following on from all that another form of protection comes into play – can call it cynical and ‘covering your backside’ if you like – but if something goes wrong and somebody gets hurt the H&S Executive will come in asking lots of questions and if it’s bad enough they may be looking for a prosecution.  And the first thing they’ll ask for is a copy of your risk assessment.  Do you want to end up in court and facing a fine or worse just because you didn’t do a proper risk assessment?

SO NOT ONLY DOES IT MAKE GOOD SENSE TO DO IT – IT’S ALSO A LEGAL NECESSITY.

------------------------------------------
Steps:

• Need to identify a responsible and competent person to take charge of the risk assessment and for overseeing safety generally – someone who understands the legal requirements and has experience of the sort of work being done. No good turning up as an un-co-ordinated rabble.

• Preferable to do a risk assessment ahead of the shoot at the rece – but it is also important to check that the assessment is still valid on the day of the shoot itself, as circumstances may have changed or a new risk become evident – but it must be done properly. Consider the floods last year in Sheffield or the collapse of cliffs on the East coast reported in April – circumstances can and do change rapidly – you must reassess if you find that’s the case.

• A risk assessment done on the spot (i.e. not carried out in advance) is preferable to not doing one at all, but legally it puts the responsible person on shaky ground.  If it’s committed to paper before the shoot starts then that constitutes better practice and gives better protection.

• Risk assessment form is not just a paper exercise to be filled in and then filed away.  It’s important that everyone involved in the shoot gets to see a copy.  Get everyone together and communicate the risks clearly and the controls to be observed.  It’s the job of the responsible person to make sure everyone is clued up about everything, and that safe working methods are determined and adhered to.

• Always ask if the place you’re recording in has a H&S person (e.g. a factory, college, or offices or a shop).  If it does make sure you talk to them about the risk assessment and local requirements. They know local risks better than you do and should be able to advise.

• Distinguish between a hazard and a risk. There may be hazards about (e.g. when filming by fast moving traffic), but if you take the required steps (cones, barriers, luminescent vests, strict control of where people operate) then the risks can be low.  So idea is to identify the hazards and where necessary put in controls that reduce the risk to acceptable level (often simple steps like warning people).

• Keep it realistic and sensible – only deal with likely (foreseeable) risks not things that are preposterously unlikely.

Process Linked to H&S Form and Check List

• Identify realistic hazards (check list to help you with the common hazards) – assess risk – if high or medium identify controls – re-assess risk – if still high or medium don’t shoot, if low go ahead.  Stress the necessity of making sure everyone knows the hazards, the controls and the levels of risk. Responsible person needs to police things as much as possible (i.e. a bit of discipline) – but everyone has a responsibility for their own safety and that of others.

•  Keep in mind that you cannot undertake a risk assessment to justify the actions you want to take, because a risk assessment must be “suitable and sufficient” – so you have to do the risk assessment and then work out how to do the job in a way that minimises the risks for everyone.


Further Notes

Untrained people can be a hazard in themselves – and young people particularly can be naïve and head strong – so these factors need to be taken into account by the more senior members of a project.

If there are young persons under the age of 16 involved in the activity then there is a legal requirement that a risk assessment is done in advance of the activity and provided to the parents!

Always work on the basis that young persons under the age of 18 have little practical experience of risks so need additional monitoring/supervision to ensure their safety.

wjs
11/04/08