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Film set safety advisory during COVID-19

So what are the film sets look like now that we are working during this COVID-19 pandemic? Below is a summary of tips provided by Section 21 Film and Television Health and Safety Advisory Committee of the Ontario Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development. I reduced the 45 page document to this simple guide by simplifying and removing repetitive language, and focusing on set operations only. The full guide can be seen at https://www.filmsafety.ca/covid-19-guidance-document-released/

Stay safe and stay working!


4 General Guide Lines

  1. Screening

  2. Social Distancing

  3. Hygiene

  4. PPE


  • Screen at home

  • Screen on site before entering work area

Social Distancing

  • Keep 2 meters apart


  • Wash hands 

  • Disinfect materials/gears daily and sometimes after use, some gears may require UV equipment to avoid damage


  • Wear PPE(mask and eye protection) as much as possible at work


Record Keeping

  • Record keeping is necessary for contact tracing

In case of a suspected case with symptoms of COVID-19

  • Isolate the individual(s)

  • Put on mask

  • Notify local health unit

  • Notify their supervisors/unions/guilds

  • Health official will ask for contact information


Additional Departmental Tips

General Tips

  • Talk over walkies as much as possible

  • Avoid sharing tools

  • Disinfect all tools/materials at the end of each day or sometimes before/after use

  • Minimize unnecessary contact


Video Village

  • Video village to be outdoors and setup to allow social distancing

  • Setup separate viewing monitors elsewhere for other members that need to view the monitor

  • Use wireless communication technology that allows crew members to view the monitor on their own device


  • Use wireless technology as much as possible

  • Specify dedicated crew members to dedicated gears


  • Avoid buffet-style self serve meal and snacks

  • Serve individually packaged food, water and snacks and use individually wrapped utensils 

  • Limit access to coffee machines eg. Having one person operate such machines


  • Establish work stations to be 2 meters apart

  • Physical barriers between work stations

  • Stylists should consider washing their arms up to their elbows

  • Eating/drinking should not be permitted when working on performers

  • Avoid sharing makeup/brushes/ palettes between performers and use disposable brushes/palettes

  • If gloves are utilized, they should be changed between performers

  • Allow performers to do their own hair/makeup

  • Allow performers to remove their own hair/makeup

  • Encourage performers to do what they can(ie shaving) before coming to work

  • Limit time spent on final checks


  • Disinfect wardrobe items before/after each use

  • Allow performers to wear their own clothes

  • Bagging costumes separately by performer


On Location

  • All locations must be disinfected before production work/limit or restrict areas that cannot/have not been disinfected

  • Individuals responsible for disinfect the location must provide detail cleaning log in writing

  • If there are multiple productions in a facility, protocols should be established to facilitate the recommended physical distancing between productions/tenants

On every location we should consider:

  • Ventilation / exhaust system 

  • Whether the location may interact with general public

  • Sufficient number of washrooms / possibility of spreading them out

  • Numbers of entrances/exits in respect to traffic control

  • Position of Screening station

  • A designated area for crew to standby in respect to maintain social distancing

  • A designated area for self-isolate

  • A designated area for smoking/vaping with available hand washing facilities/hand sanitizer

  • A designated area for receiving goods from external source


  • Avoid crowd scenes

  • Providing BG holdings outdoors if possible

  • Instruct performers to put on their own LAV

  • Allow performers to reset their own prop

  • Animals and its trainer only enter set when immediately needed

Child performers

  • A separate holding area 

  • Virtual/Remote tutoring should be considered

  • Tutoring area should be appropriately disinfected in between each use


  • Instruct performers to put on their own LAV

  • Use boom mic instead of LAV mic

  • Setting up protocols to ensure consistency with respect to which technician(s) uses each specific piece of equipment


  • Maximizing physical distance to the extend possible

  • Masks should be worn when multiple individuals are present, even if physical distancing can be maintained

  • Limit eating/drinking in the vehicle

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