Safety and security training will teach you how to minimise the risks posed to you and your colleagues while working, particularly in dangerous or hostile environments. Environments can be potentially hostile for a range of reasons, such as conflict, natural disaster, disease, remoteness, corruption, climate, etc. Training usually takes the form of both medical and practical training, although there are a variety of different types available. The most common form of safety training is Hostile Environment and First Aid Training (HEFAT).
The Rory Peck Trust strongly encourages all freelancers to undertake appropriate training, particularly when working from or travelling to a hostile environment.
What is the difference between safety and security?
Although we often use the words ‘safety’ and ‘security’ interchangeably, they have different meanings in this context. Safety refers to protection against accidental or unintended incidences, threats or dangers; for example, wearing safety equipment/clothing while filming in a hostile environment. Security refers to the protection of individuals or organisations against intentional or deliberate threats or dangers.
Safety awareness and best practice
The key components of safety training are safety awareness and how to assess threats and mitigate risks. Courses tend to be very practical, providing examples of important safety practices and tips that can help you and your colleagues to operate in hostile environments and conflict zones. No safety training can eliminate danger or threats, but it can help you to better understand how to manage and reduce risk.
Being able to reduce risk requires knowledgeable preparation. Courses address the need for and relevance of risk assessments and how to complete one before you go on assignment. Training highlights why research before your trip is essential and how being both mentally and physically prepared are prerequisites for staying safe in hostile environments. The Rory Peck Trust offers risk assessment resources to help you consider the possible dangers before you leave and allow you to prepare accordingly.
Many organisations require you to have hostile environment training before they will commission a piece, so it is useful to have safety training before you pitch a project. Insurance providers will also require appropriate training for the assignment to provide cover. Undertaking a course in advance will emphasise your professionalism, showing that you understand the risks of working in a hostile environment and that you are minimising risk.