Expert Advice from Epitome's Production Safety & Risk Management Specialists

LESSONS LEARNED: The Importance of Outsourcing Safety

Outsourcing Safety Minimizes Risk

Epitome Risk has been helping businesses, productions, sports leagues, events, and communities stay safe since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. We have learned many valuable lessons during this time, and we want to share them with you. This article is part of an on-going series that will highlight these lessons learned.

These past two years have brought about so many changes to how organizations remain functioning while also staying safe. One such change is the need for COVID-19 safety officers. Film and television production have had to fill these new positions on every single shoot. Sports leagues have had to have staff on hand to perform a variety of essential safety functions. Many businesses have needed similar positions filled to meet certain industry requirements.

Hiring staff for these new positions can initially increase operating budgets. The temptation for many businesses and organizations is to appoint current employees to fill these new roles. We here at Epitome Risk understand this temptation. But it exposes everyone to unnecessary risk.

Let’s look at five reasons why you shouldn’t hire safety positions from within your company. These are the top five ways outsourcing safety is better for business:

  • Professional safety personnel are properly trained
  • Certified safety professionals save you money
  • Outsourcing safety focuses priorities
  • Professionals have better access
  • Hiring safety personnel removes workplace bias

Let’s begin with the most obvious reason, your current employees are not trained safety professionals.

Professional Safety Personnel Are Properly Trained

When organizations need to hire safety personnel – from film productions to sports leagues –their first move tends to be to assign safety to someone in-house, and usually someone on the lowest rung of the ladder.

On film sets this tends to be a PA. In businesses, it’s a secretary, an assistant, or an intern. We have even seen safety duties assigned to a ball-boy. This is unfair to these employees. They were not hired for these positions, and they are not qualified for them. It is also far too much pressure to put on an entry-level worker – and in the case of ball boys and interns, volunteers.

This should go without saying: to properly fight COVID-19 we must prioritize safety. When organizations delegate safety to an intern or a PA they are not prioritizing safety. They are prioritizing their budgets.

Trained and certified safety professionals have one job to do. They are properly prepared – with equipment and knowledge – to perform that one task extremely well. While they might cost more upfront, in the long run they cost far less than hiring in-house.

Certified Safety Professionals Save You Money

How do professional safety personnel save you money when they cost more than someone you already employ? Simple: they keep your business open, your players in the game, and your production on schedule.

The most expensive aspect of this pandemic for businesses has been the cost of being shut down. One positive COVID-19 test, and you may be forced to close. Film productions must shut down when certain personnel test positive. And every major sports league has had to have their most talented athletes sidelined by COVID-19 safety protocols and infections.

The cost of shutting down is far more expensive than hiring the right people upfront. Businesses still have leases and subscriptions that must be paid regardless of how often they are open. In many cases, employees and talent must be paid when businesses and productions are shut down. Sports franchises and film production also must make up for the games/shoots that were canceled when they shut down.

These are all exceedingly expensive options that could have been avoided by properly prioritizing safety. That’s why hiring professionals can save you money. They keep your lights on, your players on the field, and your cameras rolling.

Outsourcing Safety Focuses Priorities

When it comes to safety, more eyes are better. When a business appoints an internal employee to conduct necessary safety procedures, risk increases.

An in-house employee has other items to attend to other than safety. Often, staff are paid for their primary job and not for their safety functions. Most of us – if not all of us – would prioritize the things we get paid to do over those we do not.

Professionals are paid to maximize safety and minimize risk. That is their only responsibility. If safety can’t be your number one priority, then hire someone to make it theirs.

It is important to note here that professional risk managers and safety personnel are not there to make your life harder. The best risk management firms focus on collaborating with the businesses that hired them. Working together, we can spot more risks and maximize safety.

Professionals Have Better Access

Outsourcing safety gives you better access to all the supplies and equipment you need to keep everyone safe. Professionals bring their own tools. In the COVID-19 era, this means businesses, productions, and sports teams don’t need to worry about finding the proper PPE, the best test kits, the fastest laboratories, or know the most current regulations. A good professional risk management firm will do all those things for you.

At Epitome Risk, we have our own lab – FourthWall Testing. None of our clients wait in line for test results because they don’t have to. We get them same-day results from our very own lab. We also have an app that lets organizations keep track their employees current COVID-19 status. With our concierge service, we’ll even come to you.

When you hire professionals, all the hard work is done for you so you can remain focused on your business, your production, and your team.

Hiring Safety Personnel Removes Workplace Bias

Every workplace – a movie set, restaurant, sports team, factory – has its own culture, its own leadership structure, and power dynamics. These mechanisms influence the behavior and decision-making of the staff, whether they realize it or not. To keep your business safe, you must remove these dynamics when prioritizing safety.

On-boarding risk management professionals puts safety outside the bounds of these built-in biases. When it comes to COVID-19, an infected person is an infected person, and you need outsourced safety personnel to react appropriately.

No organization can rely on an intern or a PA to tell the boss or the director that he or she has tested positive and can’t come to work. The power dynamics in that situation are simply too biased toward the more senior member of the staff.

Professional safety teams treat every positive test equally. By outsourcing safety, organizations can put safety in the hands of professionals who are immune to their workplace dynamics.

Bottom Line

COVID-19 has ballooned operational budgets across industries. We are all spending more money on safety these days. By outsourcing safety – as opposed to hiring in-house staff to perform extra duties – organizations can increase safety by ensuring positions are filled with trained professionals who improve organizational access to vital supplies and equipment, provide a new perspective, focus priorities, save money in the long run, and are immune from the influence of inner-office culture.

When safety matters most, hire professionals. Set up a consultation with our risk management experts today.

Epitome Risk: Less Risk. More Confidence.