How the Film Industry is Leading in COVID-19 Compliance
One of the many industries that came to a screeching halt in early 2020 when the pandemic hit was the film industry. Both small and large projects were delayed indefinitely as the world shut down and it would be months until anyone returned to set.
In recent months, as workplaces reopened and governments determined their regulations for screening protocols and gathering limits, the film industry has emerged as a leader in workplace safety and COVID-19 compliance. Here are some of the key ways the film industry has managed the risk of COVID-19 exposure:
The Introduction of COVID-19 Compliance Officers
One way film sets are ensuring all cast and crew are following COVID-19 protocols is the creation of Compliance Officers. These staff members are responsible for making sure everyone is wearing masks, social distancing, and sanitizing while performing screening tests like temperature checks.
On some occasions, compliance officers may have been on set already as medical support or they may be hired specifically for compliance expertise. With this new job responsibility in place, the entire cast and crew can feel confident someone is watching and ready to remind those who aren’t following protocol.
Communication and Detailed Guidance
Depending on the location of the production there are most likely specific film industry guidelines outlined by local governments and industry unions. This detailed guidance makes it easier to communicate exactly what is expected onset and outlines responsibilities for both production organizations and the cast and crew on set.
Guidelines for this industry are sometimes as specific as outlining what needs to happen at all entrances and exits to the set, how to keep proper records in case of possible contract tracing, and how to handle visitors, deliveries, and disinfection protocols.
Continuous Screening and Testing
While not all industries will have extensive resources to implement mass testing protocols for their employees, the film industry also conducts continuous screening for everyone on set. Along with getting tested sometimes multiple times a week, the cast, crew, and visitors must fill out a daily screening questionnaire before coming to work and follow all protocols while on set.
Daily screening allows for Compliance Officers to have a way to assess who is allowed on set and makes sure everyone is consistently watching for COVID-19 risk factors before they arrive to work.
Documentation and Tracking
On a film set there is normally constant movement, people coming and going, and set and equipment changes. In today’s world that can be a nightmare when trying to keep track of who has been in contact and where they were on set. It is now someone on set’s job to keep track of who has been in close contact with who and what set they worked on – even what props were used – in the case of COVID-19 exposure and the need for contact tracing.
Due to regulations all props, sets, furniture, and audio/visual equipment must be disinfected after each use. This kind of documentation, personnel, and equipment tracking is vital to controlling possible outbreaks and making sure disinfection is done property.
Creative Thinking and Innovation
We would expect nothing less from the most creative industry than new and innovative ways to produce TV and movies while dealing with strict physical distancing and gathering limit protocols. All productions must maintain physical distancing during rehearsals and any live audiences need to be spaced apart and follow mask orders. But many productions are also altering their plotlines and camera work to keep actors physically apart.
From virtual audiences to creative scene blocking, the film industry isn’t letting distance regulations stop them from creating the atmosphere they need on screen. A little creative thinking can go a long way – if you need help implementing the right employee screening process or adding advanced procedures to your COVID-19 policies speak to one of our experts today!