Photojournalist and communications specialist

ISSA/ILO World Congress


September 2017


The International Media Festival for Prevention at the World Congress for Safety and Health at Work in Singapore attracted 235 film entries from 38 countries. Nine entries - six films and three multimedia products - were selected for awards by international juries of media and prevention experts.

A Special Media Session opened the WorldCongress with the theme'Media can...' showing how media can contribute to a prevention culture by raising awareness. Media can also educate, influence, train and entertain using drama, animation and humour.

The Media Festival was held in a room transformed into a cinema with a neon 'Cinema' sign hanging above the entrance and the sweet smell of popcorn and other delights wafting through the foyer to entice delegates to sample not only the popcorn but also the films. It worked well! Most sessions were full and members of the audience were delighted to receive their bag of popcorn on their way into the cinema. 

The countries of origin were as diverse as the varied approaches of the producers. Today, films were much shorter than at the first Media Festival in 1990 when most OSH films were at least 20 minutes long. Now many films are no more than 60 seconds, and there is much greater use of emotion, and the impact of accidents not only on workers but also on their family, friends and work colleagues. Emotion had taken over from the traditional didactic training film.

“Let’s live safely” (Singapore) used traditional and well-established forms of communication - music and song. Inspired by a song competition organised by the Workplace Safety and Health Council of Singapore, singer-songwriter Boon Hui Lu, with “Safety, Your Word Your Life” scooped another award at the Media Festival with her vocal message about keeping your word on safety and walking the talk.

“The asthma of Antoine the baker”(France) used humour and direct communication to address the youngest employees and trainees. Antoine, a young baker, discovered the risks linked to his job and the significance of flour dust as a hazard in the baking industry. The jury was attracted by the engaging and humorous way that the subject was treated, and the performance of Antoine.

“OSH Master Chef” (Hong Kong) showed that the kitchen may be overflowing with tasty food but it was also filled with hazards such as sharp knives, hot stoves and spillages which can cause accidents. In making their award to the film, the jury enjoyed the humour in the relationship between the Master Chef and his apprentice Billy; and the clarity and simplicity of the messages.

“Shoelaces”(Singapore) used powerful emotion and the producer’s skill in presenting a serious message in a very short time without dialogue. Inspired by a true event, the film showed that accidents in the workplace hurt not only yourself but also the people around you, in particular your family. The background music set the tone and the images told the story. The commercial was part of a year-long campaign in 2016 to spread the safety message in Singapore in support of ‘Vision Zero’.

Special Awards were also made to three films:

 "#safe4life project"(Canada) where the jury recognised the value of film in the new and emerging world of the video blog and appreciated Canadian 'vlogger' Michael Rizzi's unique style in communicating potential safety hazards to young workers.

“The Heat is On”(United Arab Emirates) captured the importance of heat stress in many parts of the world, especially in the Gulf States, where workers in the oil, gas and construction sectors come from far and distant parts of the world, with their own language, culture and understanding of risk. Working outside under the sun exposes them to heat stress with temperatures reaching 45°C for many days. In making a Special Award to the film the jury applauded the effective use of animation and its ability to convey an important message without dialogue.

Multimedia category

Not only were films rewarded in Singapore but three multimedia products received awards too. A games app “Rette Murphy” (”Save Murphy”) convinced the jury.   

Safety and Health with George and Hazel from the Workplace Safety and Health Council, Singapore was an e-learning animation following the daily work lives of George and Hazel and teaching users the basics of workplace safety and health.

Balansguiden – om livet med jobbet (The Balance Guide – life with work) from Prevent in Sweden was also an award winner presenting a guide to finding the right work-life balance designed to help the target group to reflect on their own situation and identify what works for them.

Media Festival on the internet

Films submitted to the International Media Festival can be viewed online at