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Q: We need a training video produced to re-enact a fatal accident at one of our plants.

Briefly, a loading error occurred and pallet of stock fell on three operators, crushing them.

I would like the training video to simulate the incident in some way, then follow up with a “lessons learned” section.

What type of production approach do you advise?

Group H&S Manager
International manufacturer

A: Any training video production worth its salt has to motivate viewers to want to adopt the correct working procedure.

So it needs more than dry voiceover – it needs full-blooded emotion too.

And this is where re-enacting the fatal accident in a professional training video comes in.

You can either recreate the incident using 3d animation, or use creative camerawork to simulate the crush – which costs less than animating the event.

For example

We see the pallet being loaded

An operator walks up.

He stands in front of the moving load being lowered into place

Cut to close-up of the error (a loose tie)

Then we intercut:

– Slo-mo shots of the falling load (filmed using 4 or 5 camcorders from different angles, with one camera filming True 1080 HD at 100 frames per second for best slomo)

– last ditch upraised hand

– stricken face expression

– shock reactions of onlookers

Add to this the crunch of the falling load (audio) and a last-second-of-life scream as the individual is instantly crushed to death, buried under a pile of stock.

Something like the above would convey the horror of the event without actually having to crush a real person (actor), or do something equally disgusting.

Training video examples, including accident simulation, can be viewed here

The training that follows in your custom video production will have an alert audience at this stage.

But showing the correct loading procedure on video to the workforce still isn’t enough.

The audience need to be involved more deeply.

So what makes audiences go deeper?

On-camera interviews with witnesses describing how safety procedures were overlooked (at the change of shift) drive home how these high risk times of day combine with high risk activities to produce a horrific conclusion.

When the actual video training is delivered, use graphics, captions and animation to make everything more obvious – and to add some visual pizazz to an otherwise mundane everyday operation.

I’d also suggest having the CEO address camera at the end, giving a strong take-home message to line management, as well as shop floor employees. CEOs usually make influential talking heads in these circumstances (and it beats using hired presenters).

Achieving all of the above starts with careful pre-production, ie, great scripting and storyboarding – and interview questionnaire.

This means that when the director and film crew get on set, they have plenty of reference material to help them understand exactly how to portray the event, the interviews, and the classroom training material.

You’ll also need an experienced editor for post-production as timing is crucial when editing this type of video footage.

Your training video production company should also help with streaming the video on your intranet, as well as DVD production package, and brochure or booklet design.


To make this training video production stand out:

  • simulate the accident using actors and a multi-camera shoot
  • include interviews with operatives and line management
  • show the correct procedure
  • conclude with a CEO address

Training videos that reproduce accidents are trickier than the average training production – but still quite achievable.

You can find info on training video production services here

© Studio Rossiter 2011

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