ENG Safety Newsletter - NABET

ENG Safety Newsletter
Information for ENG/SNG/BNG Professionals
Ten feet is the rule! Live by it!!! Maintain at least a 10 foot distance from ALL power lines!
- A new year? So...where are we? What do readers write us about? - Threatening the Messenger.....Are media people are messengers? -It doesn’t matter which market a station’s in, the messenger may be the message.- A live-shot attack would be spun worldwide, probably in minutes. - Newsletter for Dummies - This newsletter’s “closed-loop” philosophy. -
A new year... So, where are we?
Happy New Year readers!
For everybody who does any sort of periodic journalism, wondering what to do at the time of a transition date such as the new
year is thought provoking. Some are still spent after writing about
2014. What a year! Great job on recaps seen by this journalist!
This year we figured we’d start off by taking a look at some
questions we received that indicate various areas of interest of
ENG Safety Newsletter readers.
One reader wanted to know about operating a Microwave live
truck without raising the mast. She felt there may be a danger, as
the blown seals in the mast prevented it from being raised, but the
antenna was aimable, so shots could still be done.
The danger? Not really much, unless one would stand in the
direct path of the antenna. They’re pretty specific in terms of
radiation. Harmful exposure is obviously harder to do with the
antenna raised 50’ high... Anybody who has ever aimed an antenna knows the radiation path is very specific. One or two degrees
off and you lose your receive signal. One or two degrees away
from the radiation in front of the antenna and you’re ok, too.
Bounces? Reflections? Beware. Think.
Another reader had a safety question about legally required
mast clearance between power lines and an ENG truck. This person was looking for a regulatory source he could cite as authoritive
Different states have varied clearances, but none seems to be
closer than the 10’ of clearance that seems typical for any overhead
wire from 0-50,000 volts. For every 10,000 volts over 50,000, add
4” of clearance. This is to say you would have to be over 15’ from
a 300,000 volt high tension line with your extended mast.
And that is if the air is clear...no fog, rain, or, get this, smoke
particles. If you’re at a fire and there’s a lot of smoke in the air,
double or triple your clearances, as the particulate density of the air
can support an arc if everything lines up correctly. Once arcs start,
they may be very hard to stop. Far away is good. Further? Better.
safety layers. For every layer lost, the crew or employee is one step
closer to an avoidable accident that can cause an injury or fatality.
One more: We have a safety concern at our station. Our fleet of
trucks is sort of divided by new and old. The new ones have all the
latest safety gadgets so you can't leave without an alarm sound or
the vehicle will not move out of park. Unfortunately, the other side
of the fleet has no safety features at all.
Many stations have multi-generational fleets. The amount of
vehicles at any station does not make as much difference as making some sort of classification for each vehicle, then training on
each type. The numbers will take care of themselves.
This isn’t easy, but it’s doable...for every vehicle.
Vehicles with a certain type operational configuration could be
classified as “A-type” vehicles. Perhaps this is a vehicle made by
[insert name of integrator]. Then there would be “B” type. And on
and on. Operators would have to certify on each type.
An upside of this is that training on the vehicles allows for
evaluation/testing of all of the operational and safety devices;
something that is only done in the field at many stations. It is
surprising how many vehicles are not at 100% when tested.
Many vehicle service people report that safety devices are
frequently disconnected when vehicles are sent in to be serviced
and evaluated. Check/fix your vehicles...it’s as simple as that.
Otherwise it’s when, not if, an accident will happen.
Whether you’re in a car, truck, van, or just using a backpack,
knowing equipment and its limitations is key. When the action
starts and you need to concentrate on getting the story, it’s no time
to be unfamiliar with your tools and start impulse-need training.
Ask questions, then educate yourself or your employees via
manuals and manufacturer information that’s likely available on
the web. Know your tools, because when the action and tension is
happening, you need to be spot-on.
Be the best you can be. That’s where you
should be in 2015.
Here’s another: This came out of a safety manual a reader was
putting together.
“Intentionally disabling any safety device is a serious matter
and will result in disciplinary action, up to and including
Yikes! Not much more has to be said about this. If your
station’s vehicles have disconnected alarms, or if interlocks on any
doors are inoperative in protected equipment, there is a loss of
New Year's Day is
every person's
Safety is a habit, NOT an event!
~~~~~~~Threatening the Messenger~~~~~~~
We’ve reiterated this message over the years. It’s still scary, and we’re
still surprised by acts that create the story such as that in the article below.
When you understand what terrorism is, eventually it becomes clear
that virtual cowards, maybe actual ones, want to make a point any way
they can, then as/after the damage is done, offer some sort of rationale.
are police answering a trouble call. So, based on this and many more
examples, it’s safe to assume that anybody in a visible role that will
behave in a predictable alarm/respond-to-alarm scenario can be targeted
for victimization to spread the fear on which terrorism thrives.
Stations should have meetings to discuss field strategies regarding
But who are we? Bigger minds than us watch over this stuff.
The take-away from this story?
Read the 3rd paragraph. Monis was “pacing outside the studios at
8:30”. His ‘operation’ started over an hour later. This guy was up to
something, and nobody thought the worst of it. Once it happened, and as
it played out for many hours after, the worst of it definitely happened.
“Awwww, we don’t have that kind of problem out here in market
four-zillion,” you may say. Or, “We have security when we’re in the field
here in Oakland.” Or, “We just hope and pray it doesn’t happen to us.”
Right. The possibly mentally challenged groupie that loves your live
shots and is always around is likely not the problem. Or, the security folks
that have also been assaulted in Oakland are likely not going to do much
more than force bad guys to alter their plans. But somebody....anybody
else, might. Nobody is going to play intensifying music or spotlight your
scene to warn you that “this” is the moment; something is happening.
procedures to deal with potentially threatening situations. Perhaps increasing crew size is a means of dealing with “peripheral” action.
Having discussions about how to cover events like “Ferguson” are
absolutely urgent because of the predictable potential for problems.
We’re at a point that we need to see many other situations as potentially hazardous, keep eyes open, and definitely keep recording...
It’s reasonable to think field journalists can’t see what they don’t know
is coming. However, seeing signs such as a person simply milling a about
these days is sort of like a package being left alone somewhere. A
typically credentialed person should have legitimate credentials, and
perform the tasks at hand competently. A person who is fumbling with
their gear or awkward at a jack field or multbox may not be just having a
bad day; he/she may be some sort of imposter ‘acting’ the role to gain
access others cannot. Think. Observe. Get help. Don’t wait. Do something.
What sort of help can you get? What do your local police advise? They
pretty much know the TV gig these days. See what you can do to help
them, including clearing an area and utilizing another vantage point for
your story if they ask you to. We’ve had enough of live trucks being
vandalized at ‘celebrations’, right? (So have they.) Get creative, and also
have a way out. You may need it. Observe all you can. What’s out there
IS important. Ever hear of “Shooting the messenger”?
Well, “They’re” Shooting Messengers.
“Stuff” happens to messengers. At the Boston Marathon, perhaps
every person is the messenger of the traditional internationally-attended
peaceful civic event of worldwide recognition. In Atlanta, at the twobomb abortion clinic bombing, years back, the messengers were the
responders, theorized to be the target of bomb #2, delayed, just for them.
Marathon spectators aren’t front line problems in the world. Neither
newsletter for DUMMIES
We’re not saying anyone’s a dummie...but since it’s the start of the
year, why not go over the basics of what this newsletter is designed to be?
The ENG Safety Newsletter is meant to be a monthly pulse of safety
awareness with a pinch of accountability mixed in.
We make the newsletter so managers can easily give it to employees
as a meaningful monthly memo.
Safety awareness stems from comprehension of safety related information. Documentation of that comprehension tends to
focus people on the meaning of the message.
Employees are more likely to pay attention
to something directed at them as an individual, hence, we print a spot for a receiving
employee’s name to be placed with department and date.
On page four in most issues the quiz & exercise part also has a space
for name, department & date. This is so answers to the quiz on that one
page can be sent back to a manager or supervisor, looked at, then filed as
proof employees are receiving some safety related education. In many
workplace accident investigations,
stand-out fact is
that employees never received safety related information. Investigators
look for education and training right off the bat.
The newsletter’s technique promotes a communication loop that allows for management and employees to operate with the same mindset
of solving the same problems in the same way. Perhaps a difference of
opinion or fact will surface, allowing both management and employees
to re-examine procedures. Perhaps we can call this getting on the same
page.....because it is on the same page!
The ENG Safety Newsletter wants to make every news gathering
professional aware of dangers, rules, the need for discussion of those that
exist, and new ones needed. It can save lives with cooperation.
If you and your management cooperate, you’ll save lives, too!
Remember, good safety practices are habits, not events! 10+ feet is THE rule!
The ENG Safety Newsletter is produced and hereby copyrighted by ENGsafety.com. Material within is original or gathered from a variety of sources. ENGsafety.com, its owners, employees, heirs and assigns are indemnified
and held harmless for the use and/or misuse of the information contained within. ENG Safety Newsletter is for the use of subscribers at ONE facility or company location. Each copy may be duplicated without limitation,
but distribution is limited to the subscriber’s facility unless otherwise licensed. Unauthorized duplication is subject to subscription charges and/or use fee of $195.00 per issue per offense. Possession of this material constitutes
understanding and acceptance of the above. Subscriptions are $195.00/year. Corporate and Union discounts are available. Call us, toll free: 1-UR-SAFE-6090, Fax: 781-394-0762, or email [email protected]
ENG Safety Newsletter Safety “Vocabulary” - January 2015
“Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment.” (Can we learn before we are taught?)
The industry reports....you decide.
Patrick Crawford of KCEN in Temple TX, market #87,
was shot on December 17th at his station parking lot. He
was released from the hospital the day after Christmas and
is recovering from his wounds. Without knowing who the
attacker was, and so far not seeing any result of a reported
$20,000 reward for the assailants arrest, nobody has been
caught who might shed light on whether there was a motive
directly pointing to his station for the attack, or even
whether the attack was made purely against a media interest.
With staffing at a business-efficient level that
finds many field employees working alone, it may
be appropriately prudent to
accept that some folks simply have a problem with
media. It may be your
news, news personalities,
or just see a target that will
“make” the news if an employee is victimized.
Call it a mainstream-media-person-victimization YouTube of sorts... A gang sport, perhaps? LocalTV-tube?
There should be some collective awareness in the industry
about such attacks. Perhaps contact ‘codes’ can be used for
communication to the desk, or colleagues, of any problems.
Using codes is a means field people can communicate to
others that there’s a problem in a manner that will not alarm
or provoke somebody seeking to do harm. Having the desk
aware of crew locations is also key. These days may be a
bad time for one-person crews to cruise around during slow
assignment times chasing scanner calls.
It doesn’t matter in what market a station is. A live-shot
attack would be spun worldwide probably in minutes.
Crawford’s shooting became a national news story in a
matter of days...pretty good pickins’ if a person was simply
seeking attention, or perhaps a gang initiation...or terrorism?
It doesn’t matter
in what market a
station is. A liveshot attack would
be spun worldwide, probably in
parks employees clearing another fallen limb when the
accident occurred. One of the workers was taken to a hospital for treatment of a head injury. He was wearing a hardhat
but was knocked to the ground when the limb fell. He was
conscious and talking after the accident. The other worker
was treated and released from an area hospital.
At this time of year, trees and branches that have bark
breached by decay or trauma can naturally absorb water.
When freezing temperatures hit, the water ices, hastening
decomposition of the now very heavy limbs. Crews should
beware of this phenomenon, especially during storm coverage.
If power lines are knocked down and hanging on trees,
weight is also added to the trees, and may even electrify them!
If support poles have fallen, trees maybe the only thing
holding wires up. Another case to “Look Up and Live!”
WORKZONE Fatality. A worker died from inju-
ries sustained in an accident that occurred when a motorist
struck workers putting reflectors on the roadway.
The accident occurred when the tar machine truck associated with the job broke down. A truck behind it with an
arrow board on its rear then had to stop. A third truck behind
both, containing flashing arrows also had to stop. A Cadillac
ATS came upon the scene and struck one worker head-on
and injured two others.
The driver was cited for “careless operation of a vehicle”.
It cannot be emphasized enough that crews working at a
roadside will be attention-getting attractions by motorists who
never seem to slow down when they see this ‘attraction’.
Each crew member should be wearing bright and/or reflective outerwear and should use cones or other visual obstacles,
such as yellow tape, to mark their work area in such a way that
an approaching vehicle can not only see the attraction, but see
the direction vehicles should be driven to get by it.
Obviously, shown by the incident in this story, even an
‘arrow board’ on a truck may not be enough to gain attention
of a driver and encourage them successfully to move in the
direction indicated and maintain some sort of clearance.
Roadside liveshots or recorded sessions should be done as
far away as possible, utilizing zoom lens perspective to equally
demonstrate the context of the required scene.
If alone, this is even more important, because frequently the
Unexpected? Avoidable? Decide again.
action one wants to reveal is behind you. Distance is the best
Two parks workers were hurt by falling tree limb when a layer of safety. The saying: “You can never be careful enough”
large limb from an old oak tree fell on them during a week's applies. Take nothing for granted.
windstorm. The workers were part of a crew of four or five
Distance from all hazards is a good thing.
Special thanks to the folks at Safteng for some of the updates in our “Safety Vocabulary” segments. Lessons learned from accidents and aftermath can help safety
conscious people avoid hazards before they become accidents. One doesn’t have to be in an accident to gain the experience documentation provides.
What is your policy
regarding field security?
email answer to
[email protected]
2015 Calendars are available! KEY FOBS are also available!
Get on the list, tell us what/how many you want! [Mail us]
Quiz & Exercise - January 2015
Each station should decide its own policies and procedures with regard to safety. Some answers may
differ from one person’s view of “correct.” There may be a few good answers to a question.
Read each question and look to understand each point or answer given. Speak to your coworkers and
managers to clear up any questions the quiz produces. In the end, the answer is what YOU think.
(Editor’s note: As we were finishing up this issue the terrible slaughter at Charlie Hebdo occurred. When
police and our most-valuable institution of free speech is threatened, we are indeed ALL threatened. The ENG
Safety Newsletter bows its head in sadness, yet stands tall with hope that the art, purpose, and performance
of free communication will always prevail.)
1) What may be signs of a person possibly looking to interfere with your work in the field? a) A person
who is standing in the area as you pull up to a location. b) A person who comes upon your location while you
are setting up and lingers...may not make eye contact...does not return a casual greeting. c) A credentialed
person you’ve not seen before on site who doesn’t have sophisticated equipment that matches that used in your
market. d) A person, seemingly directing others who are mixed in with the general crowd.
2) What would be one procedure you can use to deal with the above scenario? a) Call the desk and alert
them using a ‘safety-code’ that will tell them you feel your presence is being threatened without raising
awareness to those around you that you’re reporting such. b) Record. Casually document the scene around you
with the best shots of the scene and people you feel threatened by. c) Directly contact police. d) Stay near to
others you know from other stations and survey the scene as a group, communicate with each other about all
concerns, and when it’s time to go, leave together. e) Lock your vehicle. Leave out only what you’re using.
3) The purpose of documenting and filing the test portion of the ENG Safety Newsletter is: a) To allow
management an opportunity to understand employees comprehension of safety rules or variances from
standards of safety. b) To provide a casual communication loop for feedback so managers can assess the
safety mindset of employees. c) To create a catalyst for communication regarding different points of safety
awareness so managers and employees can solidify ambiguous safety rules, and reinforce understanding of
specific ones. d) Documentation allows for an investigative agency to see that employees and management
have a background of education & training. e) Because documents hold a measure of integrity and good faith.
4) Roadside work has an aspect of danger to it because: a) It seems no matter what influences are on the
roadway, such as lines, signs & warning lights, some drivers seem not to comprehend them. b) Cars are driven
faster than human reaction time in many circumstances. c) Any roadside activity is a distraction to drivers,
among so many other distractions. d) At times the roadside danger does not justify the risk of being there.
5) True or False: If you need to frame a shot at a roadside, a good idea is to use your zoom lens and
creative framing to get the desired effect of being close to the road while being safely distant. (T) (F)
The monthly safety quiz is designed to promote discussion and debate about safety subjects in each facility, as well as measure certain areas of field crew aptitude. Many
answers are specific, but others are somewhat dependant on a station’s culture and governed procedures. Please feel free to email [email protected] for the newsletter’s
opinion or factual answers to any ENG Safety Newsletter monthly Safety Quiz.
Journalists are terrorism targets.
Field News Crews need to be extra vigilant in their awareness of the area surrounding their story coverage.
Crew people are not just crew people, but an extension of the broadcast station, ownership, and/or network. (And Country!)
Your work is seen by many. Many know you. Watch out for “new” people with weird, maybe “store-bought” IDs.
Just who ARE those new people in the “regular” group sharing special media access?
YOU can make a difference. Keep your eyes open and ask questions if something seems out of place.
Remember, good safety practices are habits, not events! 10+ feet is THE rule!
The ENG Safety Newsletter is produced and hereby copyrighted by ENGsafety.com. Material within is original or gathered from a variety of sources. ENGsafety.com, its
owners, employees, heirs and assigns are indemnified and held harmless for the use and/or misuse of the information contained within. ENG Safety Newsletter is for the use
of subscribers at ONE facility or company location. Each copy may be duplicated without limitation, but distribution is limited to the subscriber’s facility unless otherwise
licensed. Unauthorized duplication is subject to subscription charges and/or use fee of $195.00 per issue per offense. Possession of this material constitutes understanding
& acceptance of the above. Subscriptions are $195.00/year. Corporate and Union discounts are available. Call us, toll free: 1-UR-SAFE-6090. Fax: 781-394-0762