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COVID-19 and Film & Video Production II – Compliance Officer & Health Safety Supervisor Certificates
In order to restart the production in a pre-vaccine, COVID-19 world, we have a new position that oversees health and safety - the ‘COVID-19 Compliance Officer or Health & Safety Supervisor’. Here are the courses and my class notes.


Before reading this, I highly recommend checking the union guidelines in my previous post.

COVID-19 Health Safety Officer Certificate Programs

The unions opened the path to restart the production and gave guidelines to provide safe workplaces in a pre-vaccine, Covid-19 world. One of the important changes is the newly emerged position called The Health Safety Manager (HSM) (also known as Covid-19 Compliance Officer). This position oversees the execution of health and safety directives in conjunction with the UPM, 1st AD/Key SM, and other relevant department heads.

I’ve recently completed two of these certificate programs preparing for this role. Below are their links.

Health Education Services COVID-19 Compliance Officer (C19CO) Certificate

Health and Education Services put together an outstanding 1.5-hour course with a live training over Zoom.

The one I took had Health Education Services trainers and the 30+ years experienced Set Medic Brad Beedle – who recently wrapped production with a 100+ cast & crew. He gave us the breakdown of the guidelines and real-life production scenarios. Upon completion of the course, we were sent a link to an exam.

Once I completed the exam with a high grade, I received learning materials and also safety posters.

I highly recommend this course to everyone serious about keeping their crew safe and/or interested in becoming Covid-19 Compliance Officer / Health Safety Supervisor.

Safe Sets™️ COVID-19 (Level A) Certificate

Designed to communicate the most current health and safety information relevant to the filmmaker community, Safe Sets created an online 15-20 minute course.

This course gives digestible information about the virus, how to prevent spread on set, and gives a completion certificate after the successful completion of its exam. Due to its short duration, I ask my department to take the time and complete this course before each production so they have information about Covid-19 and they understand the new protocols and practices.

I think this course is a must-take for every production team member. I also highly recommend it for everyone in the crew considering it only takes 15-20 minutes, it is free and you can take it anytime!

If you know other courses and certificate programs please let me know. Comment below or contact me.

Please note that currently there isn’t any ‘union approved’ Health and Safety Manager training that I know of. But I personally found both of these as a good start.

Bonus Mention

COVID-19 Contact Tracing Course from Johns Hopkins

After the publication of this blog post, my friend in a major studio recommended that I take this course. This is a free six-hour Coursera class developed by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies.

“Contact tracing is a critically important tool in pandemic response. Public health officials have long used this tactic to break the chain of transmission of infectious diseases and limit the spread of infections.”

The course offers training about COVID-19, Contact Tracing, Investigation of cases, Ethics and Effective Communication.

Class Note Highlights

(Please keep in mind that my class notes are not substitutes for the real training. It is merely a small preparation for the course. Read the guidelines, and take the courses please.)

The COVID-19 Compliance Officer (C19CO) or officially known as The Health Safety Supervisor (HSS) is a newly designated position that is responsible for:
establishing and enforcing COVID-19 safety protocols,
Hiring, coordinating and training the staff
Monitoring compliance for all film, music video, and commercial sets

They have the authority to pause the production in event that a breach threatens the health of the cast or the crew.

Their goal:
Save Lives
Save Money
Lower Liability

The COVID-19 Compliance Officer / Health Safety Supervisor is not a set medic job, though they do work together.

Covid-19 is airborne and is spread through infected mucous by sneezing, coughing, and breathing.

Once it enters the body through the lungs, many other organs can be affected and the disease can lead to death. It manifests as a respiratory illness. Gastrointestinal Symptoms (ie. stomach ache) are also observed.

People most at risk are over 60 years old and with underlying health conditions.

We still don’t know whether antibodies confer immunity and for how long (along with questions about the antibody tests themselves).

The nucleic acid tests are also challenging—false negatives endanger lives and false positives slow production.

Symptoms develop within 2-14 days. Sometimes people are asymptomatic and show no symptoms at all. That’s why we have to wear masks.

Be aware of this on the set so you can get them the help they need:
Seek immediate medical care if a crew member has:
• severe breathing difficulty
• Persistent pain/pressure in the chest
• Confusion
• Inability to wake up or stay awake
• Bluish lips or face

All sets should have a COVID-19 compliance officer! (Just like having 1st AD, Gaffer, PA, Set Medic… this is a necessary crew member now.)

The Covid-19 Compliance Officer is not necessarily a trained medical professional and does not count as one. This individual doesn’t replace set medics or medical professionals.

Health Service Education services suggests 1 officer for every 25 people.

The C19CO / HHS starts within the production early on just like any other department head and is there during
• Scouting Locations
• Prepping Crew the day before the shoot
• All Shoot Days
• Wrap

They are the first one in, marking the ground, creating 6 feet safe zones with blue tape, and the last one out, taking the tapes off. They are present during all working hours.

They supervise the morning temperature tests, health questionnaire, supervise disinfection, and monitor masks being worn, etc. They report to any non-compliance issues to the producer.

They supervise disinfection and cleaning. “Can I have disinfection here?” will be something that any crew member can ask, and should ask.

Q: What if someone’s temperature is up?
A: Ask them if they were experiencing anything unusual. Let them sit 15 minutes in quarantine and check their temperature again.

In our class, Brad Beedle was talking about a crew member who biked to set. His temperature was higher than it should be but understanding he was exercising Brad asked him to step apart from everyone and sit for 15 minutes. In his second time, the crew member’s temperature was normal.

Health and screening questionnaires are private, not to be shared outside of the producer/production company. It should never be put in a Wrap Book.

Health Questionnaire Examples

Are you suffering from any coronavirus related symptoms or had any symptoms within the previous 7 days?
If Yes, list each symptom…

Have you (as far as you are aware) been in contact with anyone with coronavirus symptoms within the previous 14 days?

Do you agree to immediately report the onset of any symptoms or contact with anyone who has symptoms of the coronavirus?

Do you consent to have your temperature checked, wearing PPE, washing your hands, and social distancing during the production, including during travel and after hours?

Have you or anyone in your household traveled outside of the country in the last 14 days?

Do you agree to alert the production company if you test positive for Covid-19 before, during, or within 14 days of wrap?

It is the crew member’s responsibility to notify the production company’s point of contact (producer, HOP, UPM) if they test positive within 14 days of the production.

It is the production company’s responsibility to notify all cast & crew of possible exposure. It is also their responsibility to notify the local health department if more than 3 people tested positive from any given production.

Q: What if they show symptoms on set?

A: Close the set, Bring professional cleaners, arrange close, close contact personnel get tested

Always Maintain confidentiality about the person.

Close contact is defined as people who have been less than 6 feet from one another or haven’t worn masks.

Use discretion when relaying information to the Producer or Unit Production Manager when informing them if someone did not pass the screening protocol.

Post the screening procedure at the entry of location – All personnel subject to the same screening before entering the location.

Tip! Laminate the signs you will need on set, such as:

  • All crew must wear a face covering
  • Practice Social Distancing
  • Room Capacity
  • COVID 19 Compliance Officer Contact info
  • You are not permitted to enter the set if (poster of signs of Covid-19 and other criteria)
  • Procedure for Symptom Checks
  • Wash Your Hands for 20 seconds

During the safety meetings, train staff on how to be COVID compliant. All safety meetings should be documented by time/day and added to the production report.

Teach the proper way of wearing a mask (fully covering the chin, mouth, and nose). Provide new masks. Enforce wearing masks at all times.

Q: What if someone consistently is not respecting the rules and taking their mask down.

A: Brad recommends going to them and talking to them in private and telling them how important for everyone to be an example.

“Relate to them, if anyone is not wearing, talk to them. It is normal to fall into our old ways, cracking jokes between shots. After this many months, anyone would love to be close, but it is not safe anymore.”

“When it comes to the virus, there is no difference between above the line and below the line, anyone can get it.”

Social distancing: The Covid-19 Officer Marks 6 foot spacing before you enter the set. In music videos, on occasions that the musicians are singing or shouting, increase the distance to 8 foot.

Push for Wireless (individual wireless monitors, wireless follow focus, wireless zoom control) and prefer remote video village solutions.

Craft Services: All food should be individually packed. Eliminate all shared food bins.Food should come with a package with utensils and napkins. Try to stagger meals.This is the most important part as everyone’s mouths will be open and exposed.

Transportation: Recommend to drive to the location and be self-sufficient. If you’re using a van, only use 50% of the capacity and mark it on the side of the van.

When wiping, wipe in one direction and wear gloves and a mask. Use a disinfectant from EPA list and also double-check its ok to use it on the surface you are wiping.

Last thing,

Don’t hand each other stuff.
And keep in mind, one of the hardest parts of the job is to yell to your friend “6 feet please!” but you are doing it for their protection!

if this was useful, please share, and make sure to join my mailing list for other useful tips!
Stay safe!

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