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5 steps to creating a film production risk assessment

5 steps to creating a film production risk assessment

This Insight Article has been adapted from GFS Academy's Risk Assessment for Production course. For the month of June 2023, the course is available FREE with every Risk Assessment order (T&Cs apply).

In the realm of TV and film productions, prioritizing the safety of the cast, crew, and the overall success of the production is paramount. The risk assessment process plays a pivotal role in achieving these objectives. By following the five steps of risk assessment - identify, assess, control, record, and review - TV and film productions can effectively mitigate potential hazards and create a secure working environment. In this GFS Insights post, we will delve into each step and explore its significance in safeguarding the production process.

Step 1: Identify

The first step in the risk assessment process involves identifying hazards that could potentially harm workers and others. This can be done by walking around the production set or visiting the location and carefully observing the surroundings. Look for any potential risks, such as unsafe structures, hazardous equipment, or environmental factors that may pose a threat. It is also valuable to engage in conversations with experienced individuals who have worked on similar production sets or have expert knowledge of the specific location and activity. Additionally, reviewing past incident reports can provide valuable insights into potential hazards that should be taken into consideration.

Step 2: Assess

Once the hazards have been identified, the next step is to assess the level of risk associated with each hazard. This assessment involves considering two key characteristics: consequence/severity and likelihood. Consequence/severity refers to the potential effect or outcome of an incident, including the extent of loss, injury, disadvantage, or gain. Likelihood, on the other hand, represents the probability and frequency of the hazard being realized. By estimating the consequence/severity and likelihood of each hazard, a comprehensive understanding of the level of risk can be obtained. Factors such as incident reports, escalation potential, potential impact on individuals, and the likelihood of the incident occurring are taken into account during this assessment.

Step 3: Control

After assessing the risks, the next step is to implement control measures to minimize or eliminate them. It is crucial to prioritize controls based on their effectiveness, following the risk hierarchy. Elimination is the preferred option whenever feasible, followed by substitution, engineered controls, administrative controls, and personal protective equipment. It is important to be aware that controls relying on human behavior are generally weaker and may be prone to errors or lapses. Careful consideration should be given to selecting control measures that are both effective and practical for the specific hazards identified.

Step 4: Record

Recording the findings of the risk assessment is essential for documentation and future reference. A risk assessment template should be utilized to document the location, activity, equipment being assessed, identified hazards, risk levels, implemented risk controls, details of the assessors, date and time of the assessment, and the planned review date. This recorded information serves as a reference for future assessments and provides a comprehensive overview of the risk assessment process.

Step 5: Review

The final step in the risk assessment process involves regular review and monitoring of the implemented control measures. Ongoing evaluations should be conducted to assess the effectiveness of the controls in reducing workers' exposure to hazards and to identify potential areas for improvement. The reviews should also take into account any changes that have occurred, new hazards and mitigation controls that have been identified, and any corrective or preventative actions resulting from incidents. This continuous review ensures that the chosen control measures remain effective and adequate throughout the production.


The risk assessment process is integral to TV and film productions, ensuring the safety of all involved and the overall success of the project. By following the five steps - identify, assess, control, record, and review - productions can effectively manage and mitigate potential hazards. Defining the scope, allocating necessary resources, involving relevant stakeholders, and adhering to applicable laws and regulations are essential aspects of the risk assessment process. Through a systematic and thorough risk assessment, TV and film productions can create a secure and productive working environment, minimizing risks and enhancing overall success.



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