A Survivor’s Guide to Industrial Filming
Working in industrial sites requires special attention to safety, so here are some survival tips.
Skyshot makes a lot of videos for civil construction, marine, oil & gas industries. Besides ground coverage, we provide aerial filming and long-term time-lapse production. We learned a few hard lessons very quickly.
Invest in your feet
Safety boots are mandatory on all industrial sites. They come with protective reinforcements at the toe area to protect your feet. But they can also be extremely painful if they are poorly made or ill-fitting. Don’t rely on the cheap safety boots that the sites provide. Invest in a good pair of safety boots for your personal use and your feet will thank you.
Hard hats – They protect you from falling objects and life-threatening injuries. Again, investing in a good hard hat, which has better fit and comfort than those cheap ones that the site provides.
Safety vests – Prepared from a highly reflective material and therefore highly visible. Alternatively, most engineering sites will require long sleeve coverall with reflective straps.
Safety glasses – Protect your eyes from dust and flying debris.
Safety harness – Must wear when working at height.
Safety gloves – Personally, I hate wearing gloves because they make camera handling difficult and restrictive. However, many sites require safety gloves.
Protection from the sun
Sunscreen – If you are shooting outdoors for an extended period of time sunscreens are a must. An SPF of 30 will block 97% of the UV rays. Opt for the sunscreen spray instead of the sunscreen lotion. Oily hands and camera gears and lens don’t get along.
Arm sleeves – To prevent sunburn on your arms, especially when working for an extended period of time out in the sun. These are cheap but they do the job.
Neck buffs – Besides sun protection, they also provide instant protection from sudden gusts of dusty wind in construction sites.
Maintain 3 points of contact when you climb
This is a basic rule that is often broken. Always maintain 3 points of contact when you climb a stairs or ladder. You should always on hold to the railings when using the stairs. For ladders, this means moving one limb at a time. For your own safety, do not attempt to lift your video equipment up a steep stairs or ladder without any assistance.
They say a soldier’s worst nightmare is dehydration. Always keep yourself hydrated. This is especially important when working in a humid environment.
Observe the access points and safety signs
Strictly adhere to the safety stipulations and guidelines at construction sites. Observe the signs to ensure that you know where you are and whether you are working in a permitted area. Certain areas of construction sites are off-limits except for skilled experts. Stay safe when filming and when setting up your camera in construction sites.
Know the exit route
As they say, always have an escape plan. Knowing where the escape routes are, where the assembly points in the event of a natural or man-made disaster could make all the difference between life and death. Always have a mental map of this information.