Safest Equipment and Products
I look at our equipment and our products that are safe. If they've met safety standards in your country, you know, change tables, furniture, step ladders, I'm not a fan of them. But have, you know, for anyone that does use a step ladder, have you read, you know, and followed the manufacturer's requirements for use, their instructions label? There are labels on every piece of equipment that we buy, and they're on there for a reason because the company could be held liable if something happened whilst you're using that piece of equipment, but if you are found to have not followed those instructions and something's happened, then it is your responsibility. You know, for example, with a step ladder, you actually have to maintain three point contact, two hands and a foot, or two feet and a hand when climbing and descending a ladder. So if you're standing on the top of a step ladder and you've got two hands and a camera it's only two points of contact. You have to stay near the middle of the...
ladder. These are the instructions that come with a standard ladder in Australia, and I'm imagining it would be very similar around the world. Did you also know that you actually have to use a barricade in case you fell? You're supposed to have a barricade up around your step ladder. No one knows these things because no one reads the information, not many photographers actually I know like to read, 'cause I don't, but I make sure that I do because I know what the potential risks and hazards are and how I could be held liable and accountable. You need to keep ladders free from slippery surfaces. So if you put a step ladder near a prop that's on flokati rug, and part of that step ladder is on the flokati rug and it's on top of a surface like this, it's a slippery surface, your weight and any type of imbalance can create that to slip and you could fall. And also when it comes to your electrical equipment that you have in your studio in terms of fires, and smoke detectors, and fire extinguishers, and all of that kinda stuff, you have to have all of that equipment, your heaters, your lights, anything that you plug into a wall, even a fridge, a minibar fridge, you've gotta have it tagged and tested by an electrician, I think it's anywhere between three to six months but you're gonna have to look that up in your area to make sure that you've had that done within that timeframe, because if a problem does arise from any of those things and you haven't done that, you are held liable. So, the product safety that I'm talking about in terms of knowing if you're using things to the Australia safety standards you can look up the product safety website, and in America you've got the American National Standards Institute. I'm pretty sure that you can Google your country and safety standards, and legislation, and things like that and you'll be able to come up with those areas on your government's websites that'll be able to help you find that information. So, preventing accidents, you know, and keeping parents at ease, like keeping your stairs blocked so children can't fall. Getting your electrical equipment checked, using safety glasses, animals that are not in contact with clients, all of those things. We can prevent accidents so easily. I played a lot of sport growing up and it wasn't until I was much older that my mother's words, 'cause she used to be my nipple coach when I was much, much younger, but she used to always say prevention's better than cure. All the time, and it never really kinda sunk in, she just would say it and I'd be like, yeah, yeah, get back on the court, keep playing. And she was always trying to teach me to land a certain way to protect my knees, and now I know that I have really bad knees, God, if I'd just listened, 'cause the prevention is always better than the cure. When we're looking at things, we have to go through a risk analysis assessment of everything and seek the potential dangers to make sure that, you know, we're not going to have any potential accidents in our studios. Pets is a huge thing that I did touch on it earlier, but it is a fairly big thing, because you've got your allergies, you've got your fears, animal fears, and small children can be scared of animals. I actually have the most beautiful dog, I have two beautiful dogs, but one of my dogs is a 42 kilo puppy. He loves children. If a toddler goes out anywhere near him his tail is like a whip, it could hurt the child. He's not intentionally trying to hurt the child but it could. You know, he's only gotta rub up against a little one and knock him over, and he could hurt himself. So I don't allow any of my clients to go near my animals because they're potential risks. And I have to make sure that, you know, I'm not allowing any animals into my studio that could cause a potential allergy for my clients that are coming in. You know, it's not a very, very common thing, I haven't had it happen too often, it's only happened probably twice that I've had people come in with allergies. But yeah, you do have to be aware of those things, and the smell. Animals have a smell. No one's gonna walk into your home studio and feel comfortable if there is a strong animal of a dog or a cat, it's gonna make them feel uncomfortable. When we talked about hygiene before, you know, a wet dog, I know when my dogs have been washed, even though they're clean they still have that wet dog smell, and cats, you know, if they have an indoor kitty litter you've gotta make sure that that's cleaned regularly and no where near where the clients are going. They don't want to smell those odors of pets, especially if they are, you know, not animal people, and not everyone is an animal person. Yeah, and I did talk before about the potential hazards of a dog nipping a child, biting a child. I was bitten as a child and that's why I have that natural fear of other people's dogs. I've turned up at a studio to do a mentoring session and the lady met me at the door and there was a dog, and so I put my hand on the door and I said, I said is it all right if you put your dog away before I come inside? Like it was a screen door, a security screen door, so I could see through, and she kinda looked at me oddly and I said, I'm sorry, I said, it's probably very friendly, but I actually have quite a fear of dogs, they make me feel uncomfortable because I've had bad situations, bad personal situations. So yeah, I don't wanna feel uncomfortable and I don't want any of my clients to feel uncomfortable when they're coming into my studio, and if you do have a pet just make sure that there is supervision at all times whenever children or family members are going anywhere near them.