Safety on the Set: Protecting Cast Members and Your Investment

    [fa icon="calendar"] August 25, 2023 / by Barrow Group Staff

    In most states, producers are obligated to provide workers' compensation coverage for cast and crew.

    Fire Filming-1

    With the writers’ and actors’ strikes dragging on, production insurance may be the last thing on your mind. However, some day (hopefully soon) this will be over, and you may find yourself playing catch up to get things back on track. Rushing to make up for lost time may put productions at greater risk for accidents and injuries on the set. From improperly erected scaffolding to equipment malfunction, there are many dangers associated with a typical set. The key to keeping everyone out of harm’s way is to make safety a priority and to always have production insurance in case of an accident.

    Safety Meetings

    When shooting dangerous scenes, it helps to be confident that every member of your team knows what their responsibilities are and how to manage any emergencies that occur. Establishing regular safety meetings is one way to achieve this goal. Meetings should begin before filming starts to make sure that the guidelines for safety are followed. Meetings should continue periodically during filming for new issues that arise and as reminders about safety precautions. Suggest that everyone involved attend these meetings. This includes actors, production staff, stunt performers, and those who are going to be working with any special effects. Safety discussions resulting from these meetings provide an opportunity to discuss concerns about the film set and avoid any issues.

    Workers’ Compensation Insurance

    Even if your production is not considered high risk for mishaps, cast and crew should always be covered by workers’ compensation insurance. Workers’ compensation insurance is a type of insurance employers provide to their employees. Workers’ Compensation insurance is governed by the State Board of Workers’ Compensation (SBWC), and it is required in most states and in most industries. Work comp is a type of insurance that provides benefits to workers injured on the job including all medical costs, rehabilitation expenses, and loss of future income. Action films have the greatest risk for cast and crew injury – from stunts, explosions, and car chases, but even the least dangerous films carry some risks. Accidents on the set are usually a result of not following proper safety procedures, lack of training, or not maintaining equipment properly. Some of the most common film set accidents are a result of:

    • Operator errors and malfunctions on planes, trains, and automobiles
    • Objects like cameras or lighting falling from scaffolding and hitting spectators below.
    • Stunts gone wrong resulting in stunt performers falling, suffering burns, or drowning.
    • Electrocution from equipment or faulty wiring.

    Workers’ Compensation Vs Cast Coverage

    It should be noted that while workers’ compensation insurance provides benefits to injured cast and crew members, cast coverage provides benefits to those that finance and distribute films. If a cast member becomes ill, disabled, or even dies, cast coverage provides extra necessary expenses to help complete the principal photography required that is over and above the production’s original budget.

    As film and television insurance brokers, Barrow Group can help you find the best coverage among multiple carriers at the best possible rates. Barrow Group offers a wide range of film and television insurance options, including:

    • Full production packages
    • Insurance on rented equipment like cameras
    • Errors and omissions
    • Workers’ compensation
    • Inland marine
    • Cast coverage.
    • Completion bonds

    Need insurance for your next project? Complete our application, and we will be in touch soon:

    Topics: risk management, workers compensation, Cast Coverage, Film & TV Insurance, Film & TV Production Coverage, Entertainment insurance, Writers Strike

    Barrow Group Staff

    Written by Barrow Group Staff

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