• Work Outside

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

73 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Let's work outside

Going outside is good for you. Reducing stress, lowering blood pressure and improving immune functions are just a few of the benefits.  In the backyard, on the balcony, or at a coffee shop patio, those are just a few of the places I'd rather be instead of the office.

  • Grey Facebook Icon
  • Grey Instagram Icon
  • Grey Twitter Icon

© 2020 by James Cho.

  • Black Facebook Icon
  • Black Instagram Icon
  • Black Twitter Icon