Think Twice

Australian Workers Film Guide


Commissioned by the Boilermakers’ Society of Australia, Think Twice was the second external film made by the Waterside Workers Film Unit. Shot in colour in 1957, this occupational safety film was designed to awaken metal workers to the dangers of electric welding and the need for stringent safety measures. Aided by an explanatory voice over by Leonard Teale, the film demonstrates the dangers presented by heat, ultraviolet rays, molten particles, noxious fumes, and unsecured heights.

Shot predominately on Sydney’s Cockatoo Island, and featuring workers and union members, the film garnered interest from the media due to Norma Disher’s presence on the island, which was prohibited to women. The film was screened extensively in the boiler making industry by the unions, government safety organizations and private companies. [1]

The instructional content includes extensive coverage of electrical welding, highlighting the risk of heat burns, eye damage from ultraviolet light, fumes in confined spaces and the risk of falling from unsecured workspaces. Scenes of victims suffering from these injuries are presented, including severe burns, eye damage, exposure to fumes and fire, as well as a sequence of a fall victim being taken away on a stretcher. There is a somewhat macabre scene of a government official cutting open the removed lungs of a worker who died of exposure to fumes. These scenes are followed by instructional sequences demonstrating safe working practices and the need for safety conscious behaviour.

[1] Milner L. (2003), Fighting Films: A History of the Waterside Workers’ Federation Film Unit, pp108-109, Pluto Press; North Melbourne.

Special Notes/Achievements

Screened at the 1958 Sydney Film Festival and the 1959 Melbourne Film Festival, where it won Australian Film Award, top prize for a teaching film. [2]

Featured on Fighting Films DVD. [3]

[2] Milner L. (2003), Fighting Films: A History of the Waterside Workers’ Federation Film Unit, p109, Pluto Press; North Melbourne.

[3] Fighting Films DVD (2006), Produced by Lisa Milner. [DVD] Sydney; Maritime Union of Australia.

Author: J Bird, 2023

Duration: 20 mins

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Film Director: Jerome Levy, Keith Gow, Norma Disher,

Film Producer: Jerome Levy, Keith Gow, Norma Disher,

Film Writer: Jerome Levy, Keith Gow, Norma Disher,

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