UPDATE JULY 31, 2020
- Additional clarification on when PPE is required; PPE guidelines for crew working near actors
- Removed suggestion for 10-minute daily safety meetings—they should be as long as necessary to keep everyone safe and informed.
UPDATE JULY 17, 2020
- Clarification that the guidelines are to help employers meet the standard OSHA law requiring a safe workplace.
- Refines guidelines around COVID safety personnel
- Masks must also be worn outdoors where 6’ distancing cannot be maintained.
- Productions should hold daily 10-minute meetings specifically about COVID safety and concerns
- Guidelines on contact tracing
UPDATE JULY 10, 2020
- Additional guidelines on what to do if someone tests positive for COVID-19
- Information on antibody testing—it’s not permitted by employers
Getting back to work
It goes unsaid that these are trying times for everyone, including all of us in the Oregon media production industry. Yet, we are a strong and vibrant community of professionals, skilled at solving problems and highly capable of meeting the challenges presented by COVID-19. We are also a community of caring individuals known to support each other and work together with respect and grace. These guidelines will help us protect each other while also helping to reduce the spread of the virus as we get back to work.
Voluntary but essential guidelines
The COVID-19 safety guidelines presented here are designed to provide predictability and consistency to the production process. As conditions and government policies evolve, we will continue to establish new recommended policies and practices for maintaining a safe working environment for all productions. While adherence to the guidelines is voluntary, they shall, in the absence of any negotiations which result in alternative guidelines, be presumed to be in effect on productions carried out by Oregon media industry members. It is the responsibility of the parties involved to come to an agreement prior to the commencement of production concerning situations not covered in these guidelines. It is also the responsibility of the parties to ensure state and federal law is being followed.
Following state and other restrictions
State restrictions will be relaxed gradually, so it is our intention to create guidelines that can be applied to traditional film shoots that minimize the risk of transmission of COVID-19—while allowing work to continue under any federal, state, or local restrictions and distancing measures, which may still be in place. Masks are required in all public indoor spaces.
How the guidelines were developed
These guidelines were developed by the OMPA in coordination with Oregon Film, the local chapters of unions and guilds, local department heads and equipment vendors in the industry. They have also borrowed from guidelines offered by sources like AMPTP, Joint Unions (IATSE, DGA, SAG-AFTRA, Teamsters), BECTU, Nordic Film Guide, the EU and others. We have also tried to be as comprehensive as possible by incorporating the thoughts, suggestions and concerns of our Oregon cast and crew.
Assign COVID-Specific Personnel
It is strongly recommended that every production should include some form of dedicated COVID-19-specific Health & Safety Personnel that manages new production protocols required to keep crews safe in a post-pandemic world. The IATSE-DGA-SAG-Teamsters-AMPTP Protocols calls this a Health Safety Supervisor. In addition, a written and agreed to COVID-19-specific health and safety policy needs to be in place on all shoots. This is a requirement for projects utilizing the state incentive programs and by some permitting agencies.
Requirements per Gov. Brown’s Executive Order (20-12)
Where workers cannot work remotely, businesses (including film sets) need to have a written social distancing policy (allowing for a minimum of 6’ between all people) and assign a “Social Distancing Officer” with the authority to enforce that written policy.
Implement an Emergency Action Plan (EAP)
- Employees should not be required to show negative tests to return to work. Guidance on Returning to Work from OSHA (PDF).
- Encourage the employee to communicate and cooperate with contact tracers when called. This is our best strategy for stopping the spread.
- Resources for employees: When to seek care, protecting your household, cleaning and disinfecting guidance, preventing spread.
- COVID-19 positive results are automatically reported to the local public health system. The public health staff will immediately interview the infected person to identify possible worksite exposures.
Pay attention to everyone’s mental health
- Emotional support hotline
- Telemedical health and behavioral health resources
- Mindfulness training; and
- Provision of online tools and resources.
Links to Federal and State guidelines & resources
- CDC’s Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019.
- CDC’s COVID19 Symptoms & CDC’s “How COVID-19 Spreads”
- CDC Activities and Initiatives Supporting the COVID-19 Response and for Opening America Up Again
- CDC Workplace Signage
- Gov. Brown’s “Social Distancing” Restrictions for Oregon, COVID-19 Resource Page and General Guidance for Employers.
- Gov. Brown’s 3 Phase Plan for Reopening Oregon
- Oregon Health Authority COVID-19 Page.
- EPA’s list of disinfectants to use against C-19
- OSHA, Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19, 3/2020
- OSHA: COVID-19 Updated Page
- OSHA: Oregon COVID-19 Policy Resource page
- OSHA: Revised Enforcement Guidance for Recording Cases of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
- OSHA: Fact sheet related to Voluntary Respirator Use in the workplace
- OSHA: Consultation Service
Local OSHA Outreach Specialist Available For Entertainment Industry Specific: Site Inspections, Job Hazard Analysis, and Health & Safety Plan Development/Review. Rickey Lepinski is a 25 year veteran of the Entertainment Industry. Besides his OSHA Outreach Specialist Certification he has extensive training in OSHA protocols and guidelines. He is available for in person, physically distanced, site inspections and for consultation and development of your production Health & Safety Plan as well as respirator training. Hourly fee is $60 per hour and fees are on a sliding scale for non-profits and low-budget productions. Please call or email for a free consultation: firstname.lastname@example.org / (503) 943-9580.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration laws assign employers a general duty to provide a safe and healthful workplace. This is the basis for the need for the adoption of COVID-19 policies by any film productions lucky enough to be moving forward during this pandemic.
Submit policy or compliance questions directly to Oregon OSHA’s technical section at email@example.com or by calling 503-378-3272
*NEW* Antibody Testing
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has agreed that daily temperature screening can be one tool to help stop the spread of COVID-19, as can be testing for COVID-19 when the circumstances warrant a more aggressive approach. However, the EEOC has issued further guidance clarifying that while employers may continue to test for COVID-19 itself, employers may not test for COVID-19 antibodies. The guidance says that antibody tests are not “job related and consistent with business necessity,” and therefore cannot be used as a basis for allowing employees to return to work or as a proxy for COVID-19 immunity.
Stay safe and be well
Thank you for reviewing and adopting these guidelines as we get back to work!
Have questions or suggestions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
[UPDATED 7/31] GENERAL PRODUCTION PROTOCOLS FOR COVID-19