Sunday, December 9, 2007

KTN crew attends crude target practice.

Have the KTN management and crews ever heard of the phrase ‘safety first’? Probably not.

I watched in amazement last night as two TV crew members on tour in northern Kenya engaged in some shooting practice as they recorded how easy it was to acquire firearms illegally in those parts. Having made their point, I think it was foolish of them to go ahead and test the ill-gotten assault rifle (I’m assuming, of course, that KTN does not conduct in-house training for such activity). It was naïve for the two employees to presume that just because their young contact shepherds animals with an AK-47 at hand he was qualified to ‘train’ them. Or that the weapon was in good working order.

The KTN crew seems to have forgotten what their junior high school teacher taught in physics; forces, action and reaction. The way they used their shoulders to support the rifle butt before firing was wrong and unsafe. The recoil force of firing easily sprains ligaments and joints. I’d be surprised if the two can say that the experience was not painful.

Watching the ease with which movie actors, including children, handle firearms deludes many people to think that they too can do it. People are on record having blown off their limbs after clumsily handling firearms. Without training or supervision, one would be exposed to serious harm in case the weapon misfires.

Our journalists are increasingly getting over enthusiastic in their out broadcasts as they scrape together news items, routinely over looking their own safety. A few days back they even filmed themselves going through murky rituals in order to get into a sorcerer’s dark abode.

Do broadcasting houses carry out risk assessments of the tasks to which they delegate their staff? It is cheap to dismiss some things as hazards of the job but quite expensive to handle the aftermath of a mission gone awry. Think safety!

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