SPA and MEAA issue revised safety guidelines for the industry
Safety instructions are the most beautiful documents in the entire screen industry. They save lives, keep everyone healthy, and prevent the kind of accidents that destroy careers and ruin families.
They also protect screen workers from hostile lawyers, unscrupulous employers, and horrific feelings of guilt.
This set, inspired in part by the cooperative rush towards Covid protocols, is tense, lucid and down-to-earth. As the press release says, they are “made on productions of all levels and in all media – from music videos to international feature film co-productions.”
According to Fiona Donovan, president of the Entertainment, Crew and Sport (ECS) section of the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance, âThis is really fantastic because we have a set of safety rules that we all agree on, and this very clearly defines both your legal obligations are as well as the guidelines. The other fantastic thing about this is that we don’t have to wait another 20 years to update them and we can continually improve them together as we go. as an industry. ‘
They provide the documents, outline roles and assign responsibilities, as well as the invisible protective mantle known in health and safety circles as âduty of careâ. They are especially vital at the short film stage and at the emerging stage of people’s careers, as new filmmakers and producers create blood-curdling risks out of sheer enthusiasm, and at the top where screens can be employed by executives accustomed to systems of other jurisdictions.
As the introduction to the safety instructions says,
âThese guidelines were produced by the Media Entertainment & Arts Alliance (MEAA) and Screen Producers Australia (SPA). Produced with support from Film Victoria, Media Entertainment & Arts Alliance, Screen Australia, Screen New South Wales, Screen Producers Australia, Screen Queensland, Screen Tasmania, Screenwest, South Australian Film Corporation.
Screen production is a unique industry, presenting unique hazards in the workplace. Sets and locations can be stressful and high-risk environments, where people are invited to do extraordinary things. Most workplaces do not have action stunts, pyrotechnics, animals, action vehicles, high voltage wiring, and cranes.
Everyone involved in the production of screens – whether they are writers, producers, directors, preparers, gaffers, stuntmen, runners or extras – must work to create and promote a culture. of security.
Larger productions will have a designated safety supervisor. This is what they do:
- Safety supervisor, agent or consultant means a suitably classified, qualified and competent person to provide specialist knowledge, expertise and advice regarding the most appropriate measures to minimize the risks associated with production. The security consultant / supervisor âin collaborationâ with all department heads will supervise the security of the actors, the team and, if necessary, the âpublicâ.
- The safety supervisor must be present during all stunt / dangerous actions, special effects actions and when there are significant location hazards.
- The main function of a safety supervisor on the set or on a location is to ensure that the actors and the team do not engage in or are not exposed to an activity or an environment that would endanger them. health and safety.
- While setting up and shooting SFX, specified stunts / dangerous actions, the safety supervisor along with other department heads (i.e. 1st AD, Stunt Co-Ord, SPFX, etc. ) oversee the establishment of safety zones for actors, crew, equipment and audience (if necessary)
We believe that workplace injuries are sudden and dramatic, but they can also be the product of cumulative physical and emotional insults, noise, fatigue, repetition, stress and helplessness. The guidelines also cover labor agreements relating to working hours, breaks, skill limits, extreme heat and cold, nudity and smoking in stages. They cover discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, bullying and working with children.
The document also provides a good description of modern rewards and collective agreements that regulate the creation of screens.
‘The modern key price for employees of the Australian screen sector is the Broadcasting, Recorded Entertainment and Cinemas Award 2010. This award provides common and industry-specific statutory minimums on rates of pay, conditions of employment and allowances. BRECA sets the minimum wage and the conditions of access for all employees in the screen sector.
Pay rates and compensation adjustments are adjusted (usually increased) annually by the Fair Work Commission. ‘
MEAA and SPA have negotiated a number of agreements that contain a series of health and safety (or welfare) measures. These agreements are for the use of MEAA and SPA members. The main collective agreements are:
- Collective agreement for feature films by actors;
- Agreement on actor television programs; and
- Collective film production agreement.
These agreements are updated from time to time to reflect changes in rates of pay and, in some cases, terms and conditions of employment. Of course, many workers in the screen industry are independent contractors or contractors under ordinary law. Contracts can vary what is in prices or collective agreements. Nonetheless, for the purposes of these guidelines, we recommend that the employment standards of the award and collective agreements be observed.
Anyone needing clarification on how these agreements work should contact the MEAA or SPA.
The first security code for the screen sector was prepared by SPAA and MEAA as early as 1983, and this version is informed by all the learnings and changes that have occurred since.