While you’re enjoying some classic Christmas entertainment in the days to come, don’t let it dissuade you of the importance of edge protection for those who work at height.
Classic movies like Mary Poppins were made before health and safety concerns made their way to the big screen – and while the sight of untethered chimney sweeps dancing across the rooftops brings back happy childhood memories for many, it doesn’t set a good example for employers.
The rooftop sequence, accompanied by the song ‘Step in Time’, is one of the most memorable parts of the movie, but should also act as a reminder of the need for edge protection.
In contrast, more recent productions likely to get an airing this Christmas set a better example – Baz Luhrmann’s 2001 film Moulin Rouge! is one to look out for.
Unlike Mary Poppins, Moulin Rouge!’s own rooftop scene, to the tune of the Elephant Love Medley, shows the stars holding on to guard rails whenever they near the edge of the giant elephant on which the sequence takes place.
The actors were also tethered using man anchors during filming – although these were digitally painted out for the final cut.