Reprinted from The Hollywood Reporter by Etan Vlessing on August 31, 2020.
As Hollywood producers continue to seek union approval to resume production, the Producers Guild of America has unveiled its latest health and safety guidelines for production amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 56-page COVID-safety protocols for independent productions, created by the PGA’s production safety task force, use a “producers lens” to break down the guidelines from other unions and guilds as the industry returns to film and TV sets. Safety is of the utmost importance as people return back to production sets and into buildings to restart filmings and other media related jobs, that is why taking on as much Health & safety advice as possible is essential in keeping everyone safe and reducing the possibility of infection which can shut down sets once again, and keep people out of work resulting in them losing money or their benefits during this time. Industries other than filmmaking can take this as an example to abide by the health and safety protocols. Additionally, for countries where it is mandatory to maintain a health and safety standard, employers could think of taking the help of firms that can conduct the audit as well as train the employees for the same. For instance, if you are an employer in the UK, firms like Sentient provide health & safety training for your employees. This may help in avoiding costly accidents and improve staff motivation to work in a safe environment.
Coming back, the PGA guidelines call for 10 hour production days, “zones” where contact between individuals during a production can be minimized, testing of everyone within 48 hours of starting to work or visiting a production, and ensuring all soundstages, sets, locations, offices, and shops, have sufficient outdoor access and ventilation air systems. Making sure that there are points of handwashing and hand sanitizing is an important part of this too so that people are always aware of what they need to do.
“The virus is an invisible threat, and risk cannot completely be eliminated. The use of PPE should be provided and maintained. Because testing sometimes fails, full PPE and social distancing controls will be essential to ensuring a safe work environment,” the PGA guidelines add about the use of protective equipment like face masks and gloves. …