Health and Safety

Health and Safety Officer

Please check the health and safety information below first.

If you have questions relating to health and safety that is not on our website, please contact our Health and Safety Officer who will be available between 7am - 7pm over the shoot weekend. Call your city manager for anything outside these hours.

Health and Safety

48Hours is committed to running a safe competition.

You are responsible for your own health and safety but we aim to help by providing links to information about your responsibilities and obligations and paperwork to assist with this.

On April 4, 2016, The Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 came into effect which changed some of the terms, responsibilities and approaches to health and safety. An organisation called Screensafe, in conjunction with the NZ film industry has set up a series of guidelines for dealing with health and safety in the screen industry which can all be found on their website. 

While 48Hours is a competition and team members are not being paid you are all still responsible for making sure that everyone is safe.

Team leaders - you should look over the information on the Screensafe website.

Below are forms you can use to make sure your team has a health and safety policy and hazard risk assessment. There is also a handy checklist and induction form for your team members. You should do a safety briefing with your teams at the start of the production, highlighting any hazards and how to avoid them. Keep a record of your hazard identification and risk assessment.

See below for how to assess your hazards and some things to look out for:

Hazard ID and risk assessment template for 48Hours

Health and Safety Policy

Screensafe Checklist

Screensafe templates page

Assess the Hazards 

Once you have a great script, think about the hazards you'll encounter in the shooting environment. Write them down and have a plan on how you will eliminate or minimise the risks of any accidents or incidents. Have a first aid kit with you and someone who knows the basics of first aid. If you think something might be unsafe to shoot without specialist assistance, it probably is. Don't put yourself at risk, think of another way to shoot it.

Stunts and guns

Weapons or guns are props that can get you into trouble, plan ahead so the only place you’re causing a scene is on camera. 

There is a strict protocol around working with real firearms and you must never have live bullets on a set.  Always use fake, prop guns, as real guns must have a qualified armourer on set who is responsible for those weapons. Never point guns at people even if they are fake. Find a way to cheat the angles with clever camera work.

  • Weapons like swords should only be used if they are blunt and unable to cause harm
  • Handle weapons carefully and do not alarm the public
  • If participants are going to use any sort of firearms or weapons during filming you must notify Police in advance. This can be done by calling the non-emergency contact centre on 105.

    Police will require the following information

    • Date
    • Time
    • Location
    • Type of firearm(s) and ammunition types being used. This includes replica firearms and blanks rounds etc.  

Filming in Public / Vehicles

Working in and around vehicles can intensify the drama in your film, to steer clear of trouble, here’s some tips: 

  • Any vehicles on the road must be licenced and have a WOF.
  • Drivers must be licensed if the vehicle is on a public road.
  • If driving a vehicle the actor should not be distracted. Film a big talking scene in a stationary car, not a moving one.
  • Wear helmets and safety belts where legally required to. 


When filming out and about, be mindful of pedestrians, vehicles and cyclists.  

  • If you are filming near a road, the crew should wear fluro vests.
  • Do not distract drivers or be the cause for a road accident.
  • Do not film on a public road - professional crews have traffic control for this.
  • Do not fly a drone over a road or cars as this may be distracting and cause an accident.

Fires and fireworks

If your film involves pyrotechnics, think ahead and be smart about how you will pull it off safely.

  • Let the local fire brigade know about any smoke or fire in advance
  • Do not light a fire in a fire ban area
  • Have fire extinguishers on hand


Some films may require heights to achieve the best shot, make sure you give your cast and crew the best shot of avoiding injury on set.

  • Check the ladder is appropriate and do not extend it too high
  • Have 3 points of contact with a ladder
  • Don’t hang out of high windows or get on the roof.

You must comply with NZ safety regulations. See Screensafe guides on working at height.


Water can be a big risk on set, think ahead to keep you cast and crew safe and warm. 

  • Keep electrical equipment away from water
  • Water can create slipping hazards
  • Identify people that can swim and have a plan for anyone that needs to go in the water
  • Keep actors warm after any water scenes

Screensafe offer a guide on water safety.


Accidents can happen when people are tired, make sure that regulated breaks are part of your filming schedule. 

  • Take a break
  • Keep hydrated
  • Provide snacks
  • Swap people in and out
  • Plan the shoot around the people with the most demanding schedule, especially actors and director/writers
  • Make sure anyone driving a vehicle is well rested
  • If you want to do any filming involving stunts, driving or other things that involve a higher level of focus and concentration, try to do them first up  rather than when you are more tired and like to make mistakes. 


Drone shots can strengthen your film, but also require strengthening your health and safety plan too.

  • Log your flights with Airshare
  • Keep drones away from the road
  • Get permission to fly drones over public property
  • No drones near airports or helipads

See here for CAA drone flying regulations. 

Alcohol/ Drugs

Keep your wits about you all weekend long, if you want to have a drink save it for the wrap party. 

  • Stay sober over the shoot weekend
  • Don’t use real alcohol or drugs on set
  • Avoid real cigarettes. (you could herbal cigarettes on real film sets when we have to portray smoking)

Children and Animals

Please be aware that using children and animals on set is likely to cause additional hazards. You should identify these hazards and take steps to keep the children, animals and your team safe. This may include having a dedicated child chaperone or animal handler. You should also be aware that there are industry guidelines for the length of time children should be on set. These are outlined in The Code of Practice for the Engagement of Cast in the New Zealand Screen Production Industry (Pink Book), which you can read here. Screensafe have also produced some more in-depth information about working with children on a film shoot that you can read here.


Be mindful of the noise you may create. Your neighbours won't thank you for shooting a screaming zombie scene at 3 in the morning! Think about scheduling your shoot to keep the louder scenes between 7am and 7pm. Check with your local council for their guidelines.


You must comply with all government restrictions and recommendations regarding covid-19. All the relevant information is available on the government's Covid-19 website. 

Screensafe’s COVID-19 Health and Safety Standard and Protocol can be found at Screensafe COVID-19.

Although the government has lifted mandatory isolation restrictions for those people testing positive for COVID 19, there is still a risk of serious, ongoing health issues if you contract Covid.

Please be mindful of those around you or those in locations where you may want to film, if you test positive during filming. A recommended isolation period of five days and a full recovery from Covid symptoms is advised before you go out and about mixing in the community. Please think of those people who really wouldn't do well if they caught the illness. If you are sick but still feel ok to participate, maybe stay inside and take on an editor role or prop builder. Stay at home and make your movie magic there!