LA accident spurs new safety rules for TV news vans


In the wake of the injuries to KABC-TV Los Angeles reporter Adrienne Alpert last May, California's Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board voted last week to move toward new safety standards for TV news vans. The move was urged by unions, including the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, the National Alliance of Broadcast Employees and Technicians and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. Alpert lost much of her left arm and parts of her other hand and foot. She had several surgeries and spent months in a burn hospital. According to local reports, the board will consider requiring that the electronic news gathering vans carry devices to detect electrical fields when the mast is being raised or lowered; annual safety training for employees who use the vans; warning and safety signs; that the van be cleared when the mast is moving; spotlights; and a device to determine whether the van is level.