Taking the stairs, the safer way

28 Apr 2023
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Vantage Drilling had seen an uptick in stair-related incidents, including one that caused real concern for the business.

They wanted a short animation to clearly and efficiently demonstrate the difference between descending stairs safely and unsafely, incorporating foot placement, body angle, body posture, shoulder angle, and good hand grip.

Reuzer stepped up (and down) to the challenge.

The client

Vantage is an international offshore drilling contractor, formed in 2007, which operates and manages a fleet of modern, high-specification drilling rigs and provides contract drilling services to oil companies around the world.



Our initial idea was to keep the 2–3-minute video simple and focus on the safety aspect, without wasting time and budget on including unnecessary assets for the sake of realism. We set the animation in a ‘virtual reality’ world, allowing us to try different approaches with ease without worrying about recreating ‘normality’. We used multiple ‘camera angles’ to keep the content interesting.

Despite the setting, we wanted it to be relatable, so we modelled the stairs based on the type that Vantage Drilling employees might see offshore, while trying to keep them as universal as possible, for various different roles and rigs. We planned out the sequence to avoid awkward pauses and moments of inactivity, and to streamline production.

Importantly, this video would be watched by people who didn’t have English as their first language, so the visual storytelling needed to be really clear, without relying solely on the voice over.



We created an animation which showed a character descending a set of stairs two ways: first the unsafe ‘incorrect’ way and then the safer method. To show how easy it is for someone to lose their balance while using the unsafe method, we had a second character pull on the first’s coveralls, unbalancing them. We then showed how hard this was to do if the character descending the stairs was following advice and using the handrail correctly.


To keep the animation interesting and engaging for the viewer:

  • We added some sound effects alongside the voice over.
  • We ensured the overall look was super high res, with lots of visual details, including clothing fabrics and stair grates.
  • While keeping the focus on the characters, we incorporated some unexpected elements: a hidden door which, when opened, revealed a warehouse.
  • We added in some subtle ‘Easter eggs’ to make the client smile, including posters from previous safety campaigns.
  • We incorporated a camera shake, to give the illusion that someone was behind the ‘camera’, giving a documentary feel.


The end animation was slick, exciting and to the point. There were zero unnecessary elements, but it was still incredibly engaging and easy to grasp. Vantage Drilling approved the video on its first review with no edits or feedback required. Job done!



“Reuzer has delivered an excellent video that describes how to properly follow the Trailing Hand Technique while descending stairs, a technique that is very well known in the offshore environment but not properly followed due to the limitations of presentations when it comes to simulating motions.

I found the video to be of great benefit to our teams because it describes in detail what is the difference between the proper trailing hand technique and the ineffective trailing hand technique when it comes to fall prevention on stairs.”

Boula Rizkallah, Corporate QHSE Manager, Vantage Drilling

Find out more

For more information about this project or any of our services, please get in touch.

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