Health & Safety issues of a photographic studio

Health and safety

To prevent any accidents or hazards all people in the studio (photographer, assistants, models) will comply with health and safety requirements. It is everyone’s responsibility to work safely and to take immediate action to prevent accidents and warn others of potential hazards and dangers so an incident does not happen.

Make sure the doorways and exits are marked clearly and not obstructed especially fire exits at all times.  Everyone is familiar with the fire safety evacuation procedures.

Studio specific Health and Safety

Only people that need to be in the studio should be there.

In a studio environment the common major risks are:

Slips, trips and falls caused by people falling over equipment.
Issues concerning the use of electrical equipment.

Less frequent risks:

Issues of manual handling, the lifting and moving of heavy equipment.

If in doubt about the use or safety of any of the equipment or health and safety ask the studio technician, support staff or the designated health and safety advisor for advice.

Identified hazards and actions that can be taken to minimize the risks:

Sharps – The use of scissors and utility knives are often required to cut cable ties, gaffer tape. When these are not in use they should be stored safely with blade covers on in a place where they will not be accidently knocked.

Suspended equipment – ensure all suspended equipment is securely fastened and where necessary with secondary safety chains to stop items falling e.g. suspended studio lights, heavy backdrops.

Above head height working -Equipment or stored items that requires above head height working or, access to these items to be made by appropriate step ladders, kick-stools or scaffolding as necessary. The access to comply with agreed safe working practices e.g. Step ladders requires someone to hold and stabilise the ladders all the time someone is using the ladders.

Risks of Trips Slips and Falls

Keep the studio clean, clear and un-cluttered. –  All the equipment in the studio is to be stored in the correct and safe way when it is not in use. Items to be stored in designated areas around the sides or outside of the studio, no equipment or empty boxes are to be left in walkways or places that people could trip over items.

Make sure all unused equipment is put away before you start your shot to minimise the equipment that could get in the way. Make sure all bags, boxes and equipment trunks are moved to a safe area at the side of the room so there are no trip hazards.

After the shot put all the equipment that needs to be put back away is safely stored.

No food and drink – is to be taken into the studio. This is to prevent food or drink being split destroying or damaging the equipment, giving electric shocks from the wires. Also food or drink on the floor could be a slip hazard. There is a possibility that photographic chemicals might be in the studio, if so they could contaminate food and drinks.

Tripods and Light stands – Make sure all of the legs on tripods and light stands are pulled opened to give the greatest stability.  This reduces the risk of equipment toppling over on top of someone or damaging the equipment.

Electrical Equipment Risks

Trailing wires and leads – All wires to be taped down or run through rubber cable floor trunking protector. This is to stop people tripping over the wires and hurting themselves. Also to prevent damage and ware to the cables that will shorten the cables life. It is good practice to tape the cable to the bottom of the stand, this is because if a cable is pulled it will tug the light at bottom of the stand so that it is less likely to be pulled over. Keep the use of extension cables to a minimum. If socket bars are used, check to make sure that the combined electricity is not exceeding the socket bars allowance.

When plugging and unplugging electrical equipment switch of both the equipment and the plug socket before putting the plug in.

Check all the electrical equipment is up to date with PAT testing. A visual check to be carried to ensure there are no exposed wires, damaged leads, plugs are firmly pushed into sockets, no cables are stretched and the equipment looks to be in good condition and works as designed.

Lamps – Never touch lighting bulbs, even when cold. Incandescent lights work at high temperatures. If handled the finger marks and traces left behind can cause localised hot spots that will cause a bulb to blow, or even explode.

Make sure you give the studio lights plenty of time to cool down after use.  The lights and the housings get very hot.  You don’t want to burn your hands picking up something that is hot and then drop it.  Hot lamps the filaments are also more fragile and prone to breaking if moved when still hot.

Any power packs are located immediately next to the light or in a position where it is least likely to cause a trip hazard.



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