Planning for a Safer Return to Sets and Studios
‘The Safe Way Forward’ Joint Report from the DGA, SAG-AFTRA, IATSE, and Teamsters on COVID-19 Safety Guidelines to Provide Safe Workplaces in a Pre-Vaccine World
Detailed Protocols Grounded in Latest Science From Foremost Epidemiologists and Experts
June 12, 2020
Los Angeles — In the next major step toward the resumption of film and television production, the Directors Guild of America (DGA), International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) and the Basic Crafts, and Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) today released “The Safe Way Forward,” a Multi-Union Report on Covid-19 Safety Guidelines. The Guidelines set forth a detailed set of science-based protocols serving as a path for Employers to uphold their responsibility of providing safe workplaces in a pre-vaccine, Covid-19 world. The Guidelines serve as an essential and necessary element of a return to work for the Unions and Guilds representing film and television casts and crews.
Developed jointly by the Unions and Guilds in consultation with leading epidemiologists and experts, the Guidelines are a follow-up to the Industry White Paper recently delivered to the Governors of New York and California, and other state governments. While the White Paper offered a foundation for the appropriate state agencies to examine the resumption of production, and provides guidance Employers must follow to provide a safe working environment, it expressly contemplated that specific protocols regarding mandatory testing, personal protective equipment (PPE), and department-specific procedures would be the subject of further discussions and agreement between the producers and the unions. Today’s Guidelines announced by the Unions and Guilds set forth key components of those detailed protocols.
The Unions and Guilds worked in close coordination with one another as they consulted with an array of experts ranging from preeminent epidemiologists and scientists to risk analysts and specialists in public health and occupational health and safety. By delving into up-to-the minute medical expertise, the science of Covid-19 transmission, and the unique risk factors their members would be confronted with in the production environment, the group developed tailored protocols to protect cast and crew. A central focus is the protection of performers, who are among the most vulnerable on set given they are not always able to observe physical distancing or wear personal protective equipment (PPE) when cameras are rolling.