The IATSE have released a set of guidelines detailing a possible COVID-19 Safety program for stagecraft workers in the entertainment venues and workspaces. The details are below:
Covid-19 presents unique challenges for IATSE Stagecraft local unions. As states, provinces and communities move individually to reopening and returning to work, it is essential that IATSE locals have consistent, science-based guidance on how to ensure their members are returning to work under the safest possible conditions.
This plan was developed through a review of various industry stakeholder guidance strategies, governmental agency advice, and the observations and recommendations of local union leaders in each of the crafts represented within the Stagecraft Department. This information is designed as a service to IATSE Locals, their Members, and Employers and is intended only to provide general information on the subject covered and not as a comprehensive or exhaustive treatment of that subject, legal advice or a legal opinion.
The aforementioned are advised to consult with legal counsel and other professionals with respect to the application of the subject covered to any specific production or other factual situation. Although the protocols listed here reference Theaters and Live Performance Venues, these protocols are designed to also apply to other facilities in which the various crafts Stagecraft Department workers also work.
Guiding Principles & General Practices:
- The health and safety of crew/employees and cast and general public are the highest priority. Re-opening the industry and returning to work are also significant and important priorities.
- Venues must have a written COVID-19 safety plan in place that specifies necessary policies, practices and procedures. In multi-employer venues there must be a process for coordinating activities related to prevention and control of Covid-19.
- In advance of reopening in any setting, local public health authorities should be notified and proper liaison to that authority should be established. All COVID-19 prevention and control measures must be consistent with federal state and local public health guidelines.
- One or more autonomous COVID-19 Compliance Officer(s) [CCO] with specialized training, responsibility and authority for COVID-19 safety compliance and enforcement will be in the workplace to implement the Covid-19 safety plan and address issues as they arise.
- Systems will be employed to assess health/of all personnel prior to entry onto the workplace.
- The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s (NIOSH) Hierarchy of Control will guide approaches to mitigating risk: o Engineering and administrative controls for hazard reduction will be developed and implemented whenever feasible. o When engineering and administrative controls are not feasible or cannot provide adequate protection, personal protective equipment (PPE) will be used.
- All required PPE will be provided and maintained by the employer.
- Effective communication, training, and support programs are essential to the success of a COVID-19 safety plan.
- Assurance of paid leave and income retention if sick or exposed is a critical component of an effective COVID-safety plan.
- Venues must remain compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), and the Canadian Human Rights Act (CHRA) when implementing mitigation measures.
- Venues must be continually assessed for the adequacy of their preventive efforts and adjust their operations modified based on changing circumstances.
To read the full guidelines and COVID-19 Safety program, please view the attached files or visit www.iatsecares.org