Guidance on Health and Safety for Film & TV Workers during COVID-19

Posted by Grant Patten on May 15, 2020 11:04:26 AM

HEALTH & SAFETY FOR FILM & TV WORKERS DURING COVID-19 (WSPS)

HEALTH & SAFETY FOR FILM & TV WORKERS DURING COVID-19Source: Royalty-free stock photo ID: 1680037777, Shutterstock

The Workplace Safety & Prevention Services (WSPS) has released some helpful guidelines for those in the film, TV and live performance industries who will soon be returning to production work in this COVID-19 environment. WSPS is an Ontario-focused organization, but this information could still be useful to those in other provinces or even the US as well.

Front Row Insurance is merely passing on these WSPS guidelines that might be helpful to some in planning their return to production, but please also consult an employment lawyer, public health and industry associations and government recommendations. The below is for informational purposes only and should not be considered advice.

Controls to consider for returning to production during COVID-19:

The WSPS documents have some helpful points to consider, including…

Are there tasks you can minimize or eliminate? For example, could any scenes that were planned to involve numerous people potentially be cut down to fewer people? Similarly, can scenes that involved people close together potentially be restructured to allow social distancing?

Limit entry points and control who comes onto set, who they speak to, and what they handle.

Have all crewmembers and visitors wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available, before entering the set, after contact with others, and with surfaces others have touched.

Train crewmembers on COVID-19 transmission points, steps being taken to protect them, and how to protect themselves, including frequent hand sanitizing, and not touching their face.

Is there an opportunity to put barriers in place between crewmembers on set? Consider using floor markings to keep people at a safe distance apart.

Is there an opportunity to improve fresh air intake/air circulation on set?

Increase cleaning frequency – on everything from desks, seats and vehicles to commonly touched surfaces like cameras, computers, microphones, phones, door handles and switches.

Ensure laundering instructions are being followed for wardrobe.

Review sanitation practices for hair and makeup stations to avoid spreading the virus and implement new practices.

Replace buffets with wrapped food items.

Consider having personal protective equipment (PPE) for crewmembers. Some examples of PPE that may be suited to supervisors, production or operations management work include gloves, masks, goggles and/or face shields.

Review your preventative measures on an ongoing basis, and adjust them if they are not working well enough or causing other issues with your work.

COVID Guideline Documents from Workplace Safety & Prevention Services (WSPS):

The above points are selections from the WSPS documents; you are encouraged to download the full documents, linked below:

Download: Workplace Safety & Prevention Services Guidance on Health and Safety for Television Hosts, Technical Crews and other TV and Film Employees during COVID-19 [PDF]

Download: Workplace Safety & Prevention Services Guidance on Health and Safety for Television, Film and Live Performance Sector during COVID-19 [PDF]

NOTE: These documents are intended for informational purposes only to provide an overview of the potential hazards posed in the workplace due to COVID-19. They are not intended as medical advice, to provide a comprehensive risk assessment for all workplaces, or to replace any legislated workplace safety obligations. Due to the ongoing evolution of the situation in Ontario and around the world, these documents may be used as a guide for Employers in addition to guidance delivered by public health authorities such as the World Health Organisation (WHO), Ontario Ministry of Health, Public Health Ontario and the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).” Any use which is made of these documents by any Employer, or any reliance on or decisions to be made based on them, are the responsibility of the Employer.

Good luck and take care,
The Front Row Team

Citations:

https://www.wsps.ca/

Topics: Film Production, Film Producers, Film Production Companies, TV Series

Why do we need to answer ALL the questions on an E&O application?

Posted by Steve Fraser on Jan 27, 2020 10:48:53 AM

Why do we need to answer ALL the questions on an E&O application?

what are lawyers looking for in the responses?

E&O INSURANCE FILM | ERRORS AND OMISSIONS INSURANCE FILM:


Steve Fraser (Lawyer)
: ALL the questions on an E&O application should be answered because they all reflect something that the insurer needs to know, but most of all, it’s an administrative thing. If you don’t answer all the questions, and you’re in a hurry, it’ll slow down the process.

E&O can be very easy to obtain if you answer all the questions as completely as you can and that also means you can add to the application. Just because the application doesn’t include a line that says “this will be obtained…”, you can actually write that in. That’s probably one of the biggest things that producers should pick up: do a FULL application but also – if you’re concerned about how an answer looks – add information. You can either write it onto the application itself, or you can do it as an addition to the application.

When some of the projects are complicated like, for example, treaty co-productions or just co-productions in general and there’s more than one person who is Named Insured, put it on a separate sheet. It is so much easier to have it all in one place than to have to go chasing after it. It’s better for you and for everybody involved in the E&O insurance process.

Related:

About: Stephen "Steve" Fraser is an international entertainment business and legal affairs lawyer in the film and television industries with co-production, financing and distribution experience.

Topics: Entertainment Insurance, Film Producer's E&O Insurance, Film Production Companies

Why are certain questions asked on an E&O application?

Posted by Steve Fraser on Jan 8, 2020 10:50:01 AM

Why are certain questions asked on an E&O application?

what are lawyers looking for in the responses?

E&O INSURANCE FILM | ERRORS AND OMISSIONS INSURANCE FILM:


Steve Fraser (Lawyer)
: Certain questions are asked on an E&O insurance application to help the insurance company or their counsel to gauge whether the production may be riskier than others. On the one hand, it’s a risk assessment but on the other hand, it’s also a way to check to make sure that the way that they’ve answered the question reflects that they’re aware of what the clearance procedures are and that they will follow them.

Sometimes, the entertainment lawyer who is clearance counsel for the production also signs the application or there’s a place where that lawyer has to acknowledge that they’ve seen the application. But, no surprise, it’s just a way to figure out who might think that they don’t need to comply with some of the clearance questions.

So, one of the E&O application questions is: “Is there a possibility that a living person could claim (without regard to the merits of such claim) to be identifiable in the Insured Production, whether or not that person’s name or likeness is used in it or whether or not the Insured purports it to be fictional? If “yes” has a release been obtained from such person?”

Well, if there is a possibility of something like that, we want to know about it upfront but also, that question tends to segue into: “are you getting releases? Is production doing what it needs to do to make sure that the folks who are appearing on screen (usually documentary, but also for dramas where you need performer agreements) are following what production says they will follow?"

Related:

About: Stephen "Steve" Fraser is an international entertainment business and legal affairs lawyer in the film and television industries with co-production, financing and distribution experience.

Topics: Entertainment Insurance, Film Producer's E&O Insurance, Title reports, Film Production Companies

How Can Travel Delay Insurance Protect You?

Posted by David Hamilton on Jan 4, 2013 4:12:00 PM

TRAVEL DELAY INSURANCE & FILM PRODUCTIONS

TRAVEL DELAY INSURANCE & FILM PRODUCTIONS

Travel Delay Insurance protects your film production budget when cast do not show up on set.

Travel Delay Insurance coverage is an Extra Expense coverage that is part of some film production insurance policies. The Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company defines Travel Delays in their insuring agreement as:

“For reasons other than weather, we will pay for loss due to the closure of any departure airport used by your personnel or used to transport your property, when such airport closure either delays or precludes the timely arrival of personnel or property to a filming location of the Insured Production”.

EXAMPLES of extra expenses covered by Travel Delay coverage:

  • There is a problem with the baggage belt within the airport delaying baggage & equipment from being loaded onto the plane.
  • There is a temporary bomb scare which results in a delay in cast or crew’s flight out of their departure airport.
  • As with most other coverages, there are some standard exclusions that apply to Extra Expense coverages. Please see the policy wording for a full description of the coverage, or call a specialized film insurance broker such as Front Row Insurance.

Topics: Entertainment Insurance, Film insurance broker, Film Production Companies

Film Production Insurance: Smoke and Fog Safety on The Film Set

Posted by David Hamilton on Dec 7, 2012 4:52:00 PM

SMOKE AND FOG SAFETY ON THE FILM SET

smoke on film set

To keep your film insurance premiums to a minimum utilize best practices when using fog and smoke effects on set.

The following substances are typically used to create smoke or fog:

  1. Propylene glycol, dipropylene glycol, butylene glycol, and polyethylene glycol
  2. Glycerin products
  3. Highly refined mineral oils
  4. Cryogenic gases such as carbon dioxide or liquid nitrogen

The choice of substance depends on whether it will be used indoors or outdoors, and whether the cast or crew will be exposed to it for significant period of time.

Film Production Insurance and Smoke Fog SafetyEnsure that you follow the manufacturer’s guidelines when using any of these substances. You should not alter the mix. Never heat substances above the temperatures specified in the guidelines.

Use the minimum chemical concentration for the minimum time necessary to achieve the desired fog or smoke effect. Check the regulation to see if the substance you are using has an exposure limit. Do not exceed exposure limits or reduce the oxygen concentration in the air below the normal level.

If necessary, have an occupational hygienist assess ways to reduce exposure and confirm that the oxygen concentration in the air is sufficient.

specialized film insurance broker is best able to present the risks associated with your film production to the film insurance underwriter to ensure you receive the best coverage and premium for your production.

Front Row Insurance Brokers are specialized Film Insurance Brokers. Please call us if you have any questions.

The above information is  based on WorkSafe – Focus on Safety – Safe Work Practices for Film and Television Production in B.C. (2001 edition)

Topics: Film Insurance, Film insurance broker, Film Insurance claims, Stunt Insurance, film insurance premium, Film Production Companies

Film Production Companies and Camera Cars: Reducing the Risk

Posted by David Hamilton on Nov 26, 2012 5:42:00 PM

The Camera Car in Filmmaking

Camera car

The camera car should  be engineered specifically for film and television production. The insert-camera car operator has the authority to suspend operation of the vehicle if they believe the vehicle is unsafe in any way.

Safety requirements when working with insert-camera cars:

  • Inspect the car – including the brakes, tires, electrical system, and towing equipment – before and after each use
  • Qualified, experienced workers must rig the car
  • When using an insert-camera car at night, install two portable tail lights on the towing vehicle
  • Do not transport crew members or equipment not directly needed for the shot sequence
  • Do not ride on the tow bar or on the exterior of the towed vehicle. Crew members may ride on a towed camera platform specifically designed for this type of work, as long as they use the necessary restraints and harnesses
  • In most cases, insert-camera cars require a police escort during operation 

A specialized film insurance broker is best able to present the risks associated with your film production to the film insurance underwriter to ensure you receive the best coverage and premium for your production.

Front Row Insurance Brokers are specialized Film Insurance Brokers. Please contact us if you have any questions.

Topics: Film equipment insurance, Film Insurance, Entertainment Insurance, Film insurance broker, Film Insurance claims, entertainment package insurance, film insurance premium, Film Production Companies, film insurance underwriter

Film Production Companies and Watercraft Use

Posted by David Hamilton on Nov 22, 2012 4:32:00 PM

Filming on boat

Film Set Guidelines - watercraft use

Use boats safely to protect your cast and crew during your film production. The following suggestions will result in the best film insurance premium with the deductible:  

  1. Follow all boating regulations

  2. Ensure that the operator knows how to operate the boat competently and safely

  3. Make sure that the boat is seaworthy

  4. Know the boat’s load capacity, do not overload the boat

  5. Allow only essential cast and crew members on the boat. All others should remain on land.

  6. Do not smoke on board. Fire at sea is a serious potential hazard

On the Boat - Guidelines

  1. Put equipment and tools in their place and use straps to secure tripods and other filming gear

  2. Secure hatch covers so they will not slide or shift

  3. Keep passageways clear and do not block emergency exits

  4. Keep the deck clear of potential slipping and tripping hazards

Boats that are tied to the dock during filming and are not on the water under their own power will be covered under props/sets/wardrobes coverage on the entertainment package insurance policy. Talk to your film insurance broker if the boat is under power.  

Have emergency backups in place so you will be ready if anything goes wrong during filming.  

Emergency Backups re: Watercraft

  1. A reliable communication system

  2. Safety lines, nets, observers, or divers for filming in rivers or other bodies of water where potentially hazardous conditions exist (e.g., swift currents, thick underwater plant life, or rocks)

  3. Stationing emergency rescue workers downstream of having a safety boat nearby

  4. A specialized film insurance broker is best able to present the risks associated with your film production to the film insurance underwriter to ensure that you receive the best coverage and premium for your production

Front Row Insurance Brokers are specialized Film Insurance Brokers. Please contact us if you have any questions.

Related Post:

FILM PRODUCTION INSURANCE AND WATERCRAFT: DON'T HIT A ROCK
 

Topics: Film Insurance, Film insurance broker, entertainment package insurance, film insurance premium, Film Production Companies, film insurance underwriter

Risk Assessments for Film Productions

Posted by David Hamilton on Nov 20, 2012 1:44:00 PM

risk assessments for film productions

Most workplace injuries and diseases can be prevented by identifying and dealing with potential workplace hazards and unsafe work practices.

Q. When do you need to conduct a risk assessment?

A.  For each potentially hazardous activity or situation involved in your production. I.e.,

Conducting FILM PRODUCTION Risk Assessments – 3 basic steps

  1. Identify potential hazards and unsafe work practices
  2. Assess the risks associated with the potential hazards and/or unsafe work practices
  3. Deal with the potential hazards and/or unsafe work practices

Remember: Write your risk assessments down on paper; that way, they can be attached to call sheets and used as a reference in case they are needed at a later date.

A specialized film insurance broker is best able to present the risks associated with your film production to the film insurance underwriter to ensure you receive the best coverage and premium for your production.

Front Row Insurance Brokers are specialized Film Insurance Brokers. Please call us if you have any questions.

The above information is  based on WorkSafe – Focus on Safety – Safe Work Practices for Film and Television Production in B.C. (2001 edition)

Topics: Short Film Insurance, Film Insurance, Entertainment Insurance, Film insurance broker, Film Production, Film Insurance claims, Film Producers, Film Production Companies, Cast Insurance

Call Sheets Help Reduce Film Production Insurance Costs

Posted by David Hamilton on Nov 14, 2012 5:44:00 PM

DAILY CALL SHEETS

Daily call sheet

Daily Call Sheets are a useful way to alert cast and crew to potential hazards for that day’s shooting schedule, and to inform them about which safety precautions they might need to take.  Film Insurance underwriters appreciate the risk management component of a call sheet and take this protocol into consideration when assessing the film insurance risk of a film production.

The following should be included on Call Sheets:

  • Scheduled stunts
  • Any special effects that will be used
  • Scheduled use of firearms
  • Potential hazards specific to the location
  • Any required personal protective clothing and equipment and how workers can get it
  • The name, contact number, and location of the first aid attendant
  • The location of the first aid kit or facility
  • The location of the nearest hospital or emergency facility
  • Any other health and safety concerns that the cast and crew need to be aware of

Safety guidelines should be attached to call sheets, i.e., If any special effects are to be used on the set, then a safety guideline should be attached specific to the type of special effects that will used. For example, if you are shooting near a thoroughfare with lots of traffic, it may be useful to add notes about this on the call sheet. What are the weather conditions like? Will the crew require special footwear or clothing for extreme temperature? What about sunscreen or hydration requirements?

Along this line of thought, it is important to include information such as the nearest hospital, along with any other emergency numbers that are specific to your location.

Have you thought about:

Putting up safety posters in common areas around the set location as a reminder to pay attention to certain hazards around the workplace and certain locations, e.g., Aerial filming.

A specialized film insurance broker is best able to present the risks associated with your film production to the film insurance underwriter to ensure you receive the best coverage and premium for your production.

Front Row Insurance Brokers are specialized Film Insurance Brokers. Please call us if you have any questions.

The above information is  based on WorkSafe – Focus on Safety – Safe Work Practices for Film and Television Production in B.C. (2001 edition)

Topics: Film equipment insurance, Short Film Insurance, Film Insurance, Entertainment Insurance, Film insurance broker, Film Insurance claims, Commercial Production Insurance, Documentary Insurance, SPFX Insurance, film insurance premium, DICE Insurance, Film Production Companies

Focus on Safety to Reduce Film Production Workers Compensation Claims

Posted by David Hamilton on Nov 13, 2012 2:06:00 PM

Workers comp on film sets

Film production health & safety / Workers Comp

Film production companies have an obligation toward their cast and crew members, and must ensure their health and safety.

Production Companies should:

  • Develop and implement health & safety programs
  • Provide first aid equipment and emergency procedures for workers
  • Provide personal protective clothing and equipment for workers where required by the Regulation
  • Hire qualified, Competent Workers with the proper tickets and qualifications
  • Report all incidents involving medical treatments or lost time from injury or disease to the Workers' Compensation Board (WCB)
  • Investigate all incidents, involving near misses
  • Ensure that cast and crew follow all WCB, municipal, provincial and federal requirements

Cast & Crew should:

  • Wear personal protective clothing and equipment when required
  • Alert the supervisor or production company to potential hazards
  • Immediately report work they consider unsafe to their supervisor
  • Follow safe work procedures

Production Companies should form a joint health and safety committee that is responsible for identifying potential hazards or unsafe work practices and providing suggestions to improve conditions. The committee delegates should ensure that regular workplace inspections are carried out, and confirm that incidents are investigated. Above all, it’s important to consider and respond to heath and safety recommendations from the cast & crew.

Some examples of task allocations per position are:

Production Manager – Ensure that sets and locations are inspected for potential hazards and that potential hazards are eliminated or controlled.

Production Coordinator – Communicate the distribution of information to cast, crew members and various departments within the production company.

Director – Support assistant directors in their occupational health & safety responsibilities.

Director of Photography – Make safety a priority when placing cameras and setting up lighting.

Construction Coordinator – Ensure that the construction mill has a first aid facility stocked with appropriate supplies.

Location Manager – Assess all locations for potential hazards (starting from the time of the initial scout.

SPFX/Stunt Coordinator – Hold safety talks immediately before any scheduled special effect or stunt.

* The above information is based on WorkSafe – Focus on Safety – Safe Work Practices for Film and Television Production in B.C. (2001 edition)

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WORKERS COMPENSATION FOR FILM CREWS

Topics: Film Insurance, Entertainment Insurance, Film insurance broker, Film Production, Film Insurance claims, Film Producers, film insurance premium, Film Production Companies, Workers Compensation