mid-day editorial: Keep real danger out of reel life

Published: Dec 29, 2016, 07:41 IST | mid-day correspondent

A painter passed away on the sets of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s upcoming movie Padmavati recently

A painter passed away on the sets of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s upcoming movie Padmavati recently. The painter was working on a set under construction in Film City, Goregaon and fell off the scaffolding when he was climbing down for the lunch break. The Public Relations (PR) machinery of Bhansali Productions swung into action saying that the accident was unfortunate and unforeseen.

While condolences and professing support for the family is one thing, the death must act as a catalyst for ensuring better safety and security measures on movie sets. The movie industry is India’s best known export. The movies churned out are mammoth productions, easily raking in crores of rupees. With this kind of money in Bollywood, it is shocking that security measures are not taken care of.

Every set must have basic security and safety measures in place for its painters, artisans and all those who work in the background. The artisan has to be wearing a hard hat or helmet when he is on a scaffolding — this is non-negotiable. The headgear must be of good quality, able to sheath the head in case of any accident. The director and producer need to enforce this.

There has to be an ambulance outside, for as long as the set is used. If this is too difficult, there must at least be an ambulance on call, no more than five minutes away.

There must also be emergency medical help, a doctor on call. Sometimes, precious time is lost transferring the injured to a medical facility. The artisans who climb up a scaffolding must wear a safety harness at all times. These are basics and must be made mandatory, in violation of which the government should clamp down on shootings. A movie may have a tragic ending, but, there is no reason why a shooting set should.

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