Safety Oscars awarded in Singapore

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

According to Martina Hesse-Spötter, Secretary General of the ISSA Electricity Section and responsible for the Festival: "The countries of origin were as diverse as the approaches of the producers." She added: "Films are much shorter today. Many films are no more than 60 seconds. And, we see much greater use of emotion in films and the impact of accidents not only on workers but also on their family, friends and work colleagues."

“Let’s live safely”

Music and song are traditional, well-established forms of communication. 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 powerful vocal message.

“L’asthme d’Antoine le Boulanger” (“The asthma of Antoine the baker”, France) received an award for its use of humour and direct communication. Antoine, a young baker, discovers the risks linked to his job and the significance of flour dust as a hazard in the artisanal baking. The jury was attracted by the engaging, light-hearted treatment, and the performance of Antoine.

The kitchen may be overflowing with tasty food but it is also filled with many hazards. In making their award to the film “OSH Master Chef II” (Hong Kong) the jury enjoyed the humour in the relationship between the Master Chef and his apprentice Billy; and the clarity and simplicity of the messages.

"Work accidents hurt your family the most"

“Shoelaces” (Singapore) used powerful emotion and the producer’s skill to present a serious message in a short time without dialogue. In making a Special Award, the jury was impressed that the background music set the tone and the images were allowed to tell the story. Inspired by a true event, the film showed how accidents at work affect the family, and was part of a campaign in 2016 in support of ‘Vision Zero’.

The jury also identified the growing influence and importance of social media and its ability to attract and reach out to a young audience. In making a Special Award to the "#safe4life project" (Canada), the jury recognised 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.

Heat stress is a serious and significant hazard in the Gulf States, where workers in the oil, gas and construction sectors come from distant parts of the world with their own language, culture and understanding of risk. In making a Special Award to the film “The Heat is On” (United Arab Emirates), the jury applauded the effective use of animation and its ability to convey an important message without dialogue.

Multimedia wins too!

The first award winner in the multimedia competition was the e-learning application “Safety and Health with George and Hazel” (Singapore) produced by the WSH Council of Singapore. The jury felt that the animated presentation was clear and engaging, and successful in crossing language barriers.

A second award winner was the e-learning application “Balansguiden – om livet med jobbet” (“Balance Guide – life with work”, Sweden) produced by Prevent. The guide was designed for people managing their own working hours and work environment to achieve a good worklife balance. The jury liked the approach, and the use of short questions and video sequences.

The third multimedia award winner was the game app “Rette Murphy” (“Save Murphy”, Germany) produced by Verwaltungs-Berufsgenossenschaft (German Social Accident Insurance Institution for the administrative sector). Eight games featured sympathetic and humorous animations which corresponded to the eight hours of a working day and address hazards in the workplace to bring Murphy safely through the working day. The jury welcomed the fresh and playful approach as a part of a safety campaign directed at young, male temporary workers.

Raising awareness and disseminating information

According to Martina Hesse-Spötter, “Visual media plays an important role in safety and health at work: It can reach out and address a large audience, and has the ability to overcome language and cultural barriers. Without good communications no prevention message will reach the workforce."


Since 1990, the Festival has been organised by the ISSA Section for Electricity, Gas and Water. It takes place every three years in the framework of the World Congress for Safety and Health at Work. Originally, the Festival was solely devoted to films but since 1999, submissions of multimedia products have been included. Since then, the ISSA Section on Information is a co-organiser of the Festival.

Viewing films on occupational safety

All entries for the International Media Festival on Prevention 2017 can be viewed on the internet. They are available at

ISSA Section for Electricity, Gas and Water:

ISSA Section on Information: