Stunt Guild of New Zealand - Health & Safety Code of Practice


Introduction
The principle object of this code of practice is to provide safe working practices  for stunt personnel in the New Zealand entertainment industry.

The Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992
The principle object of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 (HSE Act) is to prevent harm to contractors at work. To do this, it imposes duties on principals, contractors & contractees and promotes excellent health and safety management by principals. It also provides for the making of regulations and codes of practice.

Duties of Principals & Persons who control places of work:

Principals & Persons who control places of work shall take all practicable steps to:
1. Provide & and maintain a safe working environment
2. Provide & maintain facilities for the safety & health of personnel at work
3. Ensure that machinery & equipment is safe for personnel
4. Ensure that working arrangements are not hazardous to personnel
5. Provide procedures to deal with emergencies that may arise while personnel are at work

Duties of self-employed people:
Every self-employed person shall take all practicable steps to ensure that no action or inaction of the self-employed person while at work harms themselves or any other person.

Duties of designers of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE):

Regulation 68 of the Health & Safety in Employment Regulations 1995 in part states that:

Every designer of  Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) shall take all practicable steps:

1. To design PPE in accordance with applicable ergonomic principles
2. To design any PPE in such a way that if the PPE is:-
a) Manufactured in accordance with design
b) Used for the purposes for which it was designed
c) Installed, cleaned, adjusted, used, maintained, repaired & dismantled in accordance with designer’s instructions, that it will give adequate protection from the harm against which it was intended

Approved Codes of Practice

“Approved Codes of Practice” are provided for in the HSE Act. They are statements of preferred work practice, and may include procedures which could be taken into account when deciding on the practicable steps to be taken. Compliance with codes of practice is not mandatory. However, they may be used as evidence of good practice in Court.

Scope
This code of practice applies to all places of work at which stunt personnel are contracted.

All Stunt Personnel, as cast & crew should also refer to the safe working code of practice provided by the principal on each production, and the ‘New Zealand Film & Video Technician’s Guild’ safe working code of practice.




Definitions

The Principal
In most cases in the entertainment industry the "principal" under health and safety legislation would be identified as the venue management or producing company. However the person regarded as "...being in control of the work place" would be the venue management alone.
The department of labour define " being in control of the work place" as a) The owner, lessee, sub lessee, occupier, or person in possession of the place or any part of it, or b) The owner, lessee, sub lessee, of any plant in the place. This means that ultimate responsibility for all issues of management, assessment, and reduction of risk for hazards in the workplace is a prime responsibility of the venue.

Qualified Person

A person who, by possession of a relevant recognized degree, other tertiary qualification or relevant certificate of professional standing, or who, by extensive knowledge, training and proven experience, has successfully demonstrated the ability to perform the task required & solve or resolve problems relating to the subject matter and work.

Competent Person
A person who has acquired, through a combination of qualifications, training or experience, the knowledge and skill, and who is capable of identifying existing and predictable hazards in the work place and who is authorized to take prompt corrective measures to eliminate these hazards.

Stunt Coordinator
A person who has attained Level 5 ‘Stunt Coordinator’ grading of the Stunt Guild of New Zealand grading system & is deemed suitably experienced to be totally responsible for all stunt work on a project from planning to execution and can be contracted as an ‘Head Of Department’ Stunt Coordinator.

Assistant Stunt Coordinator
A person who has attained Level 4 ‘Assistant Stunt Coordinator’ or Level 5 ‘Stunt Coordinator’ grading of the Stunt Guild of New Zealand grading system & is deemed suitably experienced to be contracted as an Assistant Stunt Coordinator and coordinate other stunt personnel and actors, but is ultimately responsible to the ‘Head of Department’ Stunt Coordinator.

Stunt Performer

A person who is deemed suitably experienced and/or qualified at the sole discretion of the Stunt Coordinator to be contracted to perform hazardous action in the entertainment industry.

Harm
As prescribed in the Health & Safety in Employment Amendment Act 2002, harm is defined as:
(a) illness, injury, or both; and
(b) includes physical or mental harm caused by work related stress

Hazard
As prescribed in the Health & Safety in Employment Amendment Act 2002, hazard is defined as:
(a) activity, arrangement, circumstance, event, occurrence, phenomenon, process, situation, or substance (whether arising or caused within or outside a place of work) that is an actual or potential cause or source of harm; and
(b) includes a situation where a person’s behavior may be an actual or potential cause or source of harm to the person or another person; and without limitation, a situation described resulting from physical or mental fatigue, drugs, alcohol, traumatic shock, or another temporary condition that affects a person’s behavior.
(c) ‘Significant Hazard’  means a hazard that is an actual or potential cause of  SERIOUS HARM

Production Types
Feature Film production, Television production (television-movies, series, mini-series), Television Commercial production.

Identifiable Stunt / Stunt Adjustment

Stunt action performed that requires any extraordinary skill or endured discomfort as part of the performance. Examples include but not limited to: fire burns, near explosions, vehicle impacts, high falls, stair falls, horse falls, flying rigs, air rams, ratchet rigs & temperature extremes. It is appropriate for a stunt adjustment or stunt loading to be paid to the stunt performer for such performance.

Self-Coordination
Where a Senior Stunt Performer or higher grade can be totally responsible (planning, preparing, rehearsing & performance) for stunt action performed by themselves not under the direct supervision of a SGNZ Stunt Coordinator.

Rigging Assistant
A person who has attained Level 3 ‘Senior Stunt Performer’ grading of the Stunt Guild of New Zealand grading system & is deemed suitably experienced to be contracted as an assistant to the Head Stunt Rigger or Stunt Coordinator/Asst Stunt Coordinator in the execution of stunt rigs.

Head Stunt Rigger
A person who has attained Level 4 ‘Assistant Coordinator’, Level 5 ‘Stunt Coordinator’ or a ‘Specialist Stunt Rigger’ grading of the Stunt Guild of New Zealand grading system & is deemed suitably experienced to be totally responsible for the planning, preparing, rehearsing & execution of stunt rigs under the guidance of a SGNZ Stunt Coordinator/Asst Stunt Coordinator.

Stunt Safety
A person who has attained Level 3 ‘Senior Stunt Performer’ grading of the Stunt Guild of New Zealand grading system & is deemed suitably experienced to be used behind the camera to assist the Stunt Coordinator/Asst Stunt Coordinator with actor and/or stunt personnel safety.

Specialty Stunt Equipment
Including, but not limited to  - Air Rams, Ratchets, Descenders, Ascenders, Stunt Mats, Body Padding, Fire Protection Gear, Weaponry, Harnesses, Modified Vehicles.

Industry Relevant Skills
• Martial Arts
• Vehicles
• Gymnastics
• Trampolining
• High Diving
• Horses
• Parachuting/Sky Diving
• Extreme Adventure Sports
• Rock Climbing
• Sub Aqua
• Swimming
• White Water
• Snow Skiing/Boarding
• Mountaineering/Single Rope Technique (SRT)
• Water Skiing/Wind Surfing/Surf Boarding

SGNZ Approved Training Courses:

• Workplace Health & Safety – Unit Standard 497, 17593, 17602
• Fall Arrest Systems – Unit Standard 15757, 17600
• Fire Training - Unit Standard 3271, 18408, 4647
• Safety Observer - Unit Standard 17596
• Advanced Driver Training - Unit Standard 3465, 3466
• Elevated Work Platforms - Unit Standard 23964, 23966
• First Aid & Safety - Unit Standard 6400, 6401, 6401, 17591, 17592
• Load Slinging & Crane Communication - Unit Standard 3789
• Scaffolding - Unit Standard TBC
• Specialist Stunt Equipment Operator TBC
• Stunt Rigging - Unit Standard TBC
• Advanced Stunt Rigging - Unit Standard TBC
• PADI Dive Courses

Stunt Sequence Risk Management
It is accepted that stunt work is inherently dangerous. Each stunt sequence shall be individually assessed by a qualified SGNZ Stunt Coordinator & all practicable steps taken to eliminate, isolate or minimize the risks. It is a responsibility of the Stunt Coordinator to properly asses the level of experience of Stunt Performers when considering the safest execution of stunt work.

Risk management involves three steps:

1: Risk Identification
2: Risk Evaluation
3: Risk Management

Risk Identification:
• Hazards will be identified through, but not limited to the following processes.
• Meeting with producers, director & other departments
• Director’s requirements
• Script breakdown
• Pre-visualization video (Previs), Storyboards
• Location technical reconnaissance (Tech recce)
• Stunt rehearsals
• Stunt Coordinator Risk Assessment

Risk Evaluation:
Potential risk & severity will be evaluated considering, but not limited to the following.
• Performance description & scope
• Stunt personnel
• Performers
• Riggers
• Safety Spotters
• Communication
• Stunt rehearsals
• Time schedule
• Actor rehearsals & training
• Stunt performer rehearsals & training
• Suitability of stunt performers
• Actor/Extra involvement & suitability
• Stunt equipment
• Serviceable
• Tested / certified
• Logbook
• Special equipment
• Location & environment
• Ground
• Remoteness
• Water
• Heights
• Temperature
• Altitude
• Proximity of public
• Possible injuries to cast and/or crew
• Other department involvement    
• Communication
• Special Effects
• Fire, explosions, wind, rain, water, mechanical effects
• Make-Up  / Prosthetic Make-up
• Comfort, vision, movement
• Costume
• Comfort, vision, movement
• Weapons
• Vehicles
• Art Dept
• Props
• Weapons
• Set construction
• Animals
• Aircraft
• Camera / Grip Dept
• Camera location & protection
• On-set safety
• Suitability
• Medical Evacuation procedure
• Shoot day
• Block through of stunt sequence with all departments involved
• Control measures in place
• Wrap procedure
• Equipment serviceability & log use
• Stunt Department debrief


Risk Management:
Eliminate the Hazard:  All significant hazards must be eliminated where ever possible.
Isolate the Hazard:  Where it is impracticable to eliminate a significant hazard it should be isolated.
Minimize the Hazard:  Where it is not possible to either eliminate or isolate a hazard then it should be minimized and persons protected and monitored.

Accident Reporting
The HSE Act requires principals to keep a register of work-related accidents and serious harm. This includes every accident that harmed (or might have harmed):
(a) Any personnel at work;
(b) Any person in a place of work under the principal’s control.

The SGNZ has a standard Accident Report which must be completed in all cases of serious harm – defined as injury requiring Accident & Emergency services and/or hospitalization.

This process allows for ongoing risk identification & management taking into consideration specific stunt preparation, contributing factors, recommendations & actions taken for future risk management.

Principals are also required to investigate all accidents, harm and near misses to determine whether they were caused by a significant hazard.

Principals are required to notify serious harm that occurs to personnel while at work to the Secretary (in practice, the nearest OSH office), as soon as possible. In addition, the accident must also be reported on the prescribed form within 7 days.

If a person suffers serious harm, the scene of the accident must not be disturbed unless to:
(a) Save life or prevent suffering;
(b) Maintain public access for essential services, e.g. electricity, gas;
(c) Prevent serious damage or loss of property.

The OSH office will advise whether it wishes to investigate the accident and what action may be taken in the meantime.

Safety Guidelines

Practicable steps
Clause 2A of the Health & Safety in Employment Amendment Act 2002 gives the following definition of all practicable steps;
(1) In this act, all practicable steps, in relation to achieving any result in any circumstances, means all steps to achieve the result that it is reasonably practicable to take in the circumstances, having regard to-
(a) the nature and severity of the harm that may be suffered if the result is not achieved; and
(b) the current state of knowledge about the likelihood that harm of that nature and severity will be suffered if the result is not achieved; and
(c) the current state of knowledge about harm of that nature; and
(d) the current state of knowledge about the means available to achieve the result, and about the likely efficacy of each of those means; and
(e) the availability and cost of those means
(2) To avoid doubt, a person required by this Act to take all practicable steps is required to take those steps only in respect of circumstances that the person knows or ought reasonably to know about.

It is a responsibility of the Stunt Coordinator to properly asses the level of experience of Stunt Personnel when considering the safest execution of stunt work, and only designate stunt personnel to various tasks who have shown competency in rehearsals and proper execution of the required stunt work.

Safety Guidelines include the need for stunt personnel to:
• Have undertaken a safety induction process at the discretion of the contracted Stunt Coordinator prior to commencing work.
• Advise the Stunt Coordinator of any medical condition / injuries that may impact on their ability to perform their work duties.
• Report hazards or incidents.
• Observe and obey all warning signs/instructions.
• Observe smoking and alcohol & drug restrictions.
• Only go where you are authorized to go.
• Report all injuries.
• Get first aid promptly.
• Report all fires.
• Ensure appropriate meal breaks and rest periods are taken to ensure individual performance is not adversely affected (including having regard to travel time to/from work, fatigue and excessive work loads).
• Where Stunt Personnel are required to work extended hours, extra planning should be put into place as to the safety hazards and harm this may create for themselves and others at the work place.
• Follow all procedures associated with the use of naked flame, pyrotechnics and other special effects.
• Ascend and descend from structures only by way of ladders, stairways or other means provided for this purpose.
• When climbing and working at heights the number of tools and items of equipment carried should be minimal and the use of a lanyard on tools is recommended.
• Only use plant and equipment you are certificated, trained or have the skill to use.
• Use the correct equipment for the job.
• Avoid working under suspended loads unless so doing is necessary to fulfill your duties.
• If your duties require you to work under suspended loads, ensure you are familiar with the risk assessment covering working under suspended loads and the procedures in place to minimize risk.
• Wear and use personal protection equipment (PPE) when required, including appropriate clothing, footwear, eye/ear protection, UV & respiratory protection and the use of Fall Arrest equipment.
• If children are not part of the performance, they are not to be brought into the performance area
• If children are part of the performance then adequate checks must be made by all staff likely to be responsible for their welfare
• All volunteers, persons on working place training or experience must be regarded as an contractor of the organization they are working with as prescribed in section 3C, 3D,3E,3F of the Health & Safety in Employment Amendment Act 2002

The following are the key points to remember in relation to the Health & safety in Employment Act 1992.
1. All contractors have a responsibility to provide a safe working environment.
2. All contractees also have responsibilities for the safety of themselves and others in the work place.
3. All hazards must be regularly and systematically identified. This requires an inventory of hazards accident reporting systems and a review system to determine the whether or not the hazard is significant. All must be documented.

Penalties
Penalties for failing to follow safe work practices are severe. If you deliberately take action which is contrary to the Act, knowing it is reasonably likely to cause serious harm to a person, or fail to take action, you are required to take under the act, and you know that failing to act is reasonably likely to cause serious harm, you could be liable for a fine of up to $500,000 and or 24 months in prison.
If you fail to comply with the act or regulations made under the act you could be fined $250,000
An individual and or principal can be served with an infringement notice under section 56c of the act where you could be liable for an instant fine up to $4000

Stunt Performers

Stunt Performers enter into situations of actual or potential high risk & serious harm far beyond the scope of generally accepted safe working practices, and as such, the experience & responsibility of both the Stunt Coordinator and Stunt Performer is of utmost importance is conducting safe working practices.

A Stunt Performer shall only perform stunt action and take direction under the supervision of a SGNZ Stunt Coordinator/Assistant Stunt Coordinator, or the designated Head of Department (in the case of a non New Zealand stunt coordinator)

Stunt Performers must ensure they have undertaken sufficient rehearsal prior to stunt performance & fully understand the scope of the action required, the potential risks involved and the consequences of not achieving the desired result.

Personal Protection Equipment (PPE)
Personal protection equipment (PPE) shall be used where there is a possibility that failure to do so could result in serious harm. Such equipment should comply with the relevant New Zealand Standard, or an acceptable international Standard.
PPE for stunt performers includes, but is not limited to:
Body padding, ankle/wrist supports, helmets, mouth-guards, eye/ear protection, harnesses, & fall arrest systems such as box rigs, air-bags, crash mats & descenders
It is accepted that using personal protection equipment is not always possible due to limitations of costume, make-up, location, or performance requirements. Stunt performers shall use PPE when possible or instructed to do so by the stunt coordinator.


Stunt Guild of New Zealand Grading System

Assessment Criteria
The SGNZ membership is divided into 5 levels. Each of these levels is based on skill, experience & qualifications. Applications to join the SGNZ or to be upgraded may be made to the Grading Panel. Upgrade applications will be assessed twice annually in April & October.

Prior to making a new application or an upgrade application, an applicant must be familiar with the SGNZ Codes of Practice.
 
All grading applications are assessed on the following:

• Written application to the SGNZ Grading Panel.
• A completed SGNZ Database Information Form.
• A completed SGNZ Logbook.
• Up-to-date CV and additional DVD evidence of performance.
• Proof of qualifications for relevant achievements.
• The applicant’s attitude to working in a team environment & ability to communicate effectively.
• Written recommendations.
• Full payment of the annual membership fee.

The SGNZ Grading Panel must approve qualifications, licenses & certificates.
New applicants must be New Zealand citizens or permanent residents.
Only contracted work done under a SGNZ Stunt Coordinator will be considered for upgrade applications.


SGNZ Grading Panel
The SGNZ Grading Panel consists of 3 graded SGNZ Assistant Stunt Coordinators and/or SGNZ Stunt Coordinators elected by the SGNZ council.

SGNZ Grades

Level 1 - Probationary Stunt Performer
Requirements:
• Written recommendation from one SGNZ Stunt Coordinator.
• Proof of a high level of achievement in an industry relevant skill* at the discretion of the Grading Panel.

A successful applicant enters a probationary period and can only be contracted to perform stunt action under the direct supervision of a SGNZ Stunt Coordinator/Assistant Stunt Coordinator.

A Probationary Stunt Performer is not a full member of the SGNZ until they qualify as a Stunt Performer.


Level 2 - Stunt Performer

Requirements:
• A minimum of 50 days work in front of camera on at least 3 productions*
• At least 12 months as a Probationary Stunt Performer.
• Proof of a high level of achievement in a total of 3 industry relevant skills* at the discretion of the Grading Panel.
• Written recommendations from 2 SGNZ Stunt Coordinators.
• 18 years of age.

A Stunt Performer can only perform stunt action under the direct supervision of a SGNZ Stunt Coordinator/Assistant Stunt Coordinator.


Level 3 - Senior Stunt Performer

Requirements:
• A cumulative total of 150 days work in front of camera.
• Minimum of 2 years as a Stunt Performer
• 30 Identifiable stunts*
• Completion of  NZQA Workplace Health & Safety Certificate– Units 497, 17593, 17602
• Completion of NZQA 1st Aid Certificate – Units 6400, 6401, 6402
• Completion of NZQA Working at Heights Certificate – Unit 17600
• Completion of NZQA Fall Arrest Systems – Unit 15757

On successful qualification a Senior Stunt Performer is deemed suitably experienced to self-coordinate*, but not coordinate other stunt personnel or actors. A Senior Stunt Performer can be designated as a rigging assistant* or stunt safety*.


Level 4 - Assistant Coordinator/Performer
Requirements:
• A cumulative total of 250 days work in front of camera.
• Minimum 2 years as a Senior Stunt Performer.
• 50 days total or combination as a rigging assist, self-coordinating, or stunt safety.
• Completion of NZQA Workplace Health & Safety Certificate– Units 497, 17593, 17602
• Completion of NZQA 1st Aid Certificate – Units 6400, 6401, 6402
• Completion of NZQA Working at Heights Certificate – Unit 17600
• Completion of NZQA Fall Arrest Systems – Unit 15757
• Completion of NZQA Fire Safety Certificate – Units 3271, 18408, 4647
• Completion of NZQA Elevated Work Platforms Certificate – Units 23964, 23966

On successful qualification a Assistant Stunt Coordinator/Performer is deemed suitably experienced to be contracted as an Assistant Stunt Coordinator and coordinate other stunt personnel and actors, but is ultimately responsible to the 'Head of Department’ Stunt Coordinator..
A Assistant Stunt Coordinator/Performer can be designated as Head Stunt Rigger* and can set up & operate Specialty Stunt Equipment*.
A ‘Head Stunt Rigger’ must hold a current NZQA Crane Communication & Load Slinging Certificate – Unit 3789


Level 5 – Stunt Coordinator

Because of the importance of a Stunt Coordinator being totally responsible for stunt performers, actors & other personnel, a Assistant Stunt Coordinator/Performer must prove they have sufficient experience in a wide /or of stunt applications to take on this responsibility and qualify as a Stunt Coordinator.

Requirements:
• 100 days as an Assistant Stunt Coordinator/Performer on at least 5 productions*.
• A minimum of 5 years as a Assistant Coordinator/Performer.
• Written recommendations from at least 5 SGNZ Stunt Coordinators.
• A written timeline of experience with:
• Production meetings
• Script breakdown
• Cost analysis & budgeting
• Contract negotiations
• Technical scouts
• Casting stunt doubles
• SGNZ Risk Management Reports
• Specialty Stunt Equipment
• Planning and preparing stunt action - personnel, rigs & rehearsals.

On successful qualification a Stunt Coordinator is deemed suitably experienced to be totally responsible for all stunt work on a project from planning to execution and can be contracted as an ‘Head Of Department’ Stunt Coordinator.

Stunt Specialist

Requirements:
• Written recommendation from a SGNZ Stunt Coordinator.
• Proof of a high level of achievement in 1 industry relevant skill* at the discretion of the Grading Panel.

A Stunt Specialist must have the necessary skill, experience & qualifications to plan, rehearse & perform all aspects of action in their one specialist field.


Stunt Categories

Fights:
Where stunt personnel & actors are required to fight in their performance, they shall undertake sufficient training & be assessed by the Stunt Coordinator or suitably qualified/competent person to undertake such performance.
PPE shall be worn by stunt personnel & actors during rehearsals & training where practicable at the discretion of the stunt coordinator or suitable qualified/competent person.

Fire:
Under Review*

Vehicles:
Under Review*

Animals:

Where stunt personnel & actors are required to perform on or near animals, an Animal Wrangler shall be appointed where practicable & be responsible for the safety aspects of such performance including training & education.
Where stunt personnel & actors are required to perform on or near horses, a Horse Master shall be appointed where practicable & be responsible for the safety aspects of such performance including training & education.
PPE shall be worn by stunt personnel & actors during rehearsals & training where practicable at the discretion of the stunt coordinator or suitable qualified/competent person.

Stunt Rigging:

Under Review*

Heights:
Under Review*

Weapons:

Firearms: - Including but not limited to pistols, rifles, shotguns, bows, crossbows & artillery pieces.
Where stunt personnel & actors are required to use firearms in their performance, they shall undertake sufficient training & be assessed in the safe & correct use of firearms by the on-set Armorer for each specific firearm prior to rehearsing or filming such performance.
PPE shall be worn by stunt personnel & actors during rehearsals & training where practicable at the discretion of the stunt coordinator or suitable qualified/competent person.

Other Weapons:
- Including but not limited to swords, shields, knives, spears, staffs, axes, oriental & medieval weapons.
Where stunt personnel & actors are required to use weapons in their performance, they shall undertake sufficient training & be assessed in the safe & correct use of the weaponry by the Stunt Coordinator or suitably qualified/competent person.
PPE shall be worn by stunt personnel & actors during rehearsals & training where practicable at the discretion of the stunt coordinator or suitable qualified/competent person.

Water:

Where stunt personnel & actors are required to perform in, on, over or near water, a  Water Coordinator shall be appointed where practicable & be responsible for the water safety aspects of such performance including training & education.
All stunt personnel & actors using SCUBA equipment shall be suitably trained & assessed by a qualified SCUBA Dive Instructor before rehearsing or filming such performance.
PPE shall be worn by stunt personnel & actors during rehearsals & training where practicable at the discretion of the stunt coordinator or suitable qualified/competent person.

Aircraft & Aerial:

Where stunt personnel & actors are required to perform in, on or near aircraft, an Aerial Coordinator shall be appointed where practicable.
Where stunt personnel or actors are required to use parachutes or semi-rigid wings in their performance, they shall undertake sufficient training & be assessed in the safe & correct use of such devices by a suitable qualified person & a Drop Zone Coordinator shall be  appointed.
PPE shall be worn by stunt personnel & actors during rehearsals & training where practicable at the discretion of the stunt coordinator or suitable qualified/competent person.


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