There are “serious health and safety issues to be addressed” for those working in film and TV in the UK, a prominent UK politician has told the House of Lords.
Baroness Angela Smith of Basildon, Labour’s leader of the Lords, has told the UK government’s minister for arts that current legislation and the role of public body The Health & Safety Executive need to be reassessed.
This comes in light of statistics from a recent Mark Milsome Foundation (MMF)/Bectu survey that found three quarters of those who work in the industry said that their safety or that of a colleague had been compromised.
Most who had reported incidents wanted to remain anonymous for fear of losing future employment and too many people who have responsibility for health and safety do not have the necessary qualifications or experience, the survey also found.
The MMF was set up following the death of British camera operator Milsome, who was killed while filming a car stunt in Ghana in November 2017.In a speech to the House of Lords, Baroness Smith said: “Those that work in this industry deserve more. Could this be addressed through more effective monitoring and inspections, or is fresh guidance or new legislation needed?
“Are the existing training requirements adequate and how are they assessed? Why can’t this apply to UK employed staff working in other countries? So, it’s not just about money – so much effective work could be done in terms of the above issues and the will, commitment, and support from both the industry and government, it could make a real difference.”
The MMF said Lord Parkinson, the minister for arts and heritage, has agreed to meet with the foundation which “signaled a move in the right direction.”
In response to the debate, the MMF has called for a cross-party strategy to protect and empower those working in the film and TV sector through updating of the law, enforcement of training and a renewed focus on accountability.
MMF chair Samantha Wainstein said: “I’m deeply grateful for Baroness Angela Smith’s remarkable efforts in helping us drive changes to the laws governing health and safety within the film and TV industry. The Baroness stands as a fantastic advocate for our cause.”
Article originated in: C21 Media