Does my micro-budget indie project need to follow the WA COVID rules?
Yes. No matter how many people your production includes, you must still have a designated person to monitor health and compliance with the safety plan. Every employer must also have a COVID safety plan. Smaller productions often have crew wearing multiple hats, so we encourage you to work with an experienced CCS who an advise on what makes sense for your scale.
What are we calling the COVID safety people these days?
COVID safety roles have changed a lot since we all returned to work in July 2020. After months of consulting with experts in other industries, the departments and roles associated with safety on set quickly took shape. On full-scale productions, the roles are divided between those with medical training who report up to the Health & Safety Supervisor (HSS), and those with strong background in production who report up to the Health & Safety Manager (HSM). Larger scale productions might have a whole crew that contains COVID Compliance Supervisors (CCS) and assistants called COVID Compliance Officers or Monitors (CCO). On small-to-mid-sized productions, the CCS sometimes performs all of the duties.
What duties are performed by the COVID safety team?
Depending on the scale of your production, an experienced & trained WA-based COVID Compliance Supervisors (CCS) can help with any or all of these tasks:
- Review scripts and boards to consult on ways keep your production in compliance with the latest WA, union, & federal regulations
- Attend the location scout to create a safety map to be submitted for union or permitting reviews
- Create a new COVID safety protocol or suggest amendments to your existing plan to be specific to your production location
- Consult on the best vendor to conduct your COVID testing
- Design systems for COVID test tracking &/or daily symptom pre-checks
- Meet with department heads to consult on protocols and COVID safety supplies needed
- Order and manage inventory of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), EPA-approved sanitation and disinfecting supplies, and other production supplies needed to comply with local and federal workplace safety requirements
- Perform state-mandated daily health screenings of all cast, crew, and clients including temperature and symptom checks
- Perform state-mandate monitoring of compliance with safety plan including distancing and PPE use
- Ensure that your production areas have all of the state and federally required signage
- Disinfect your production areas
Is the CCS also my set medic?
No. Set Medics specifically have medical training and experience. Your CCS should be specifically experienced in the creative production industry (motion picture and still photography) and should maintain on-going training specific to COVID-19 and safety on set.
What kind of training do the COVID safety people need to have?
WA doesn’t have a specific requirement for any training or experience for someone to be the required designated, site-specific COVID safety monitor. However, it is highly advised that you bring on an experienced CCS who has taken courses specific to COVID-19 safety and is also comfortable around production teams, gear, and areas. This person must have the authority to pause the production in the event of non-compliance or a safety issue. There are dozens of classes to help get someone up to speed quickly.
What should I budget for COVID safety?
As usual, all rates & fees are scalable depending on the size of your cast/crew, the nature of your production, the layout of your sets, etc, but here is a general idea of costs you might expect:
- HSM $750/10hr day*
- CCS $650/10hr day*
- CCO/Assistant/Monitor $400/day (recommended any time your production is more than 20 people)
- CCS Kit Fee (not including PPE) $75/day
- PPE up to $10/pp
- Assume 1-2 prep days for your HSM or CCS
- Production & Disinfecting supplies varies
* The COVID safety team is typically the first in and last out on every production day, to disinfect the area, so OT is a common expense