Australian Screen Production Industry
COVID-Safe Guidelines 28 May 2020 Version 1
A. Introduction ................................................................................................. 2
Rationale ..............................................................................................................................2 Acknowledgements ..............................................................................................................2 Legal ..................................................................................................................................... 3
B. How to Use this Document.......................................................................... 4
Relationship with WHS Bodies ............................................................................................. 4
C. About COVID-19 ......................................................................................... 6
D. Duties under WHS Laws............................................................................. 8
Overview of Applicable Laws................................................................................................8 Duties of a PCBU .................................................................................................................8 Duties of Officers .................................................................................................................. 9 Duties of Workers ................................................................................................................. 9
E. Risk Management Approach..................................................................... 10
Risk Management Process.................................................................................................10 Hierarchy of Controls..........................................................................................................11 When is a control measure 'Reasonably Practicable'?.......................................................12
F. Engagement and Consultation.................................................................. 13
Consultation with Workers..................................................................................................13 Consultation, Co-operation and Co-ordination with other PCBUs......................................13 Recommencing Work .........................................................................................................14
G. Mandatory Control Measures ................................................................... 15
H. Specific Control Measures ........................................................................ 18
I. Additional Matters....................................................................................... 34
Insurance ............................................................................................................................ 34 Employment/HR .................................................................................................................34
J. Review of Guidelines and Control Measures ............................................ 35
K. Incident Management and Response ....................................................... 36
Suspected or Confirmed Case of COVID-19......................................................................36 Additional Considerations...................................................................................................37
L. Appendices................................................................................................ 39
How to Wash Hands...........................................................................................................39 Types of Face Masks .........................................................................................................40 How to Put on a Face Mask ...............................................................................................40 How to Put on, Use, Take Off and Dispose of a Mask .......................................................41
A. Introduction
COVID-19 has presented a novel and unprecedented health and safety challenge to all industries and workplaces. There has been global disruption to industries, as governments have imposed restrictions under biosecurity, public health and emergency management laws in an effort to prevent outbreaks of COVID-19. The strict limitations which have been imposed on the number of people who may be present in indoor and outdoor gatherings, physical distancing requirements and disruptions to the supply chain, have resulted in many screen productions coming to a halt.
In Australia, on 8 May 2020 the National Cabinet announced that baseline restrictions would begin to ease to a stage by stage basis and commenced the implementation of a plan to re-open a 'COVID-Safe' economy. Accordingly, the Australian screen production industry requires guidance on recommencing productions in full compliance with obligations under public health orders as well as work health and safety (WHS) laws.
Under the Federal Government's plan, the States and Territories will implement Stages 1 – 3 at their own pace, based on an assessment of the local conditions at the relevant time. Under Stage 1, public spaces, shops and cafes are expected to re-open. Stage 2 will see more businesses re-opening, while maintaining an emphasis on physical distancing and hygiene protocols, as public gatherings are increased to 20. Some interstate travel is also expected to resume. By Stage 3, most Australians are expected to return to the physical workplace (although it is likely that remote working arrangements will continue to be implemented where possible). Interstate travel will be possible again and the Federal Government will consider opening up the possibility of trans-Tasman international travel.
These Guidelines have been developed by an Australian Screen Sector Task Force and are intended to provide support and assistance to all practitioners (from screen producers to individual workers) in the Australian screen production industry in returning and recommencing productions in order to eliminate and minimise the risks associated with exposure of personnel to COVID-19 while working on a production. These Guidelines are a live document which offer up-to-date, practical advice, drawing on a range of resources and consultation with the federal Chief Medical Officer's team, and will continue to evolve alongside the advice of governments and sector best practice.
The Guidelines should be read in conjunction with the existing WHS guidance, as well as the policies and procedures already applicable in your workplace. In addition to consideration of these Guidelines, stakeholders and employers in the industry must ensure they take reasonably practicable steps to safeguard their cast and crew, as well as others who interact with the industry, by preparing a COVID-Safe risk mitigation plan based on a risk assessment prior to recommencing work.
In consultation with the Commonwealth Department of Health and global law firm Clyde & Co, these Guidelines have been developed by the Australian Screen Sector Task Force:

  • Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)
  • Australian Director’s Guild
  • AusFilm
  • Australian Film Television and Radio School
  • Endemol Shine Australia
  • Film Victoria
  • Fremantle Australia
  • Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance
Screen NSW Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) Screen Australia Screen Canberra Screen Queensland Screen Tasmania Screen Territory Screen West Screen Producers Australia South Australian Film Corporation
These Guidelines are current to the date of publication and will be reviewed and updated on an ongoing basis.
These Guidelines are not a substitute for independent legal advice and it is recommended that members of the screen production industry obtain appropriate advice relevant to their particular circumstances.
Members of the Australian Screen Sector Task Force are not liable for any loss resulting from any action taken or reliance made by you on any information or material contained in these Guidelines (including, without limitation, third party information).
B. How to Use this Document
These Guidelines are to be used by screen productions as guidance to develop their own COVID-Safe risk mitigation plan prior to recommencing work. That COVID-Safe risk mitigation plan must be based on a risk assessment that you have undertaken for your specific production.
The below diagram sets out how these Guidelines should be used in performing a risk assessment and preparing a COVID-Safe risk mitigation plan:
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Review these Guidelines.
Perform an assessment of the risks and hazards particular to your specific production (using the Risk Management Process set out in Section E of these Guidelines).
Prescribe controls for these identified risks and hazards, includinng the mandatory controls set out in Section G of these Guidelines as well as a selection of the controls set out in Section H and any other controls required.
Prepare a COVID-Safe Risk Mitigation Plan, including undertaking consultation with workers and other PCBUs.
Commence or recommence your screen production.
These Guidelines do not prescribe a comprehensive set of controls to manage the risk of COVID-19 transmission in a screen production. The circumstances faced by each individual production are different. Screen producers must select a suite or package of controls which are appropriate to the unique characteristics of their particular production. The controls set out in Section G of these Guidelines are mandatory (as they are based on current government advice) and applicable to all screen productions (including at departmental levels) as part of a COVID-Safe risk mitigation plan. The specific control measures set out in Section H of these Guidelines are optional, and productions should consider what combination of those specific departmental controls are reasonably practicable for their production to implement, based on the risk assessment the production has undertaken. Further, the control measures in Section H are by no means exhaustive and individual productions may choose to go beyond these control measures.
Relationship with WHS Bodies
The WHS regulatory framework in Australia is set out in the below diagram.
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Safe Work Australia
National policy-making body for WHS.
Provides a central hub of information and guidance for workplaces on COVID-19 during pandemic.
Commonwealth, State and Territory WHS Regulators
Administer and enforce WHS laws in their respective jurisdictions.
• WHS Acts and Regulations • Approved Codes of Practice
Investigate potential contraventions of the WHS Laws and undertake enforcement action for breaches (which may result in fines and/or imprisonment).
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Safe Work Australia
These Guidelines incorporate the guidance provided by Safe Work Australia in relation to control measures which should be implemented by workplaces to eliminate and minimise risks related to the transmission of COVID-19 in the workplace.
Commonwealth, State and Territory WHS Regulators
Commonwealth, State and Territory WHS Regulators will not enforce these Guidelines as they are not legally binding. However, the duties under the WHS Laws are enforceable and failure to comply may result in enforcement action by the respective WHS Regulator in each jurisdiction. For example, failure to take reasonably practicable steps to safeguard workers and other persons in the workplace by implementing control measures to eliminate or minimise risks to health and safety (such as those set out in Sections G and H of these Guidelines) or a failure to consult (as set out in Section F of these Guidelines) may result in enforcement action.
Accordingly, it is recommended that those in the screen production industry use these Guidelines to develop their own protocols to ensure a COVID-Safe environment at their workplace, so far as is reasonably practicable.
C. About COVID-19
What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is an acronym for 'coronavirus disease 2019', a novel respiratory virus which was first identified in December 2019. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared that COVID-19 was a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on 30 January 2020. On 11 March 2020, WHO declared COVID-19 to be a Pandemic.
COVID-19 is part of a family of coronaviruses which can cause illness in humans and animals. COVID-19 is a new strain of coronavirus. So far, there is no vaccine or cure. Individuals with mild cases can generally manage their symptoms through rest and recuperation at home. However, in severe cases, hospitalisation and intensive care may be necessary. Complications of COVID-19 can be fatal. Importantly, COVID-19 is highly infectious as it can be transmitted indirectly, as well as through direct contact.
There is no conclusive set of symptoms which will indicate whether a person has COVID-19. At the moment, a test is needed to confirm a diagnosis of COVID-19. However, there are a set of common and less common symptoms which patients generally present with:

Common Less Common
  • 38°C)
    Fever (at least
  • Tiredness
    Dry cough
Aches and pains Sore throat Diarrhoea Conjunctivitis
Headache Loss of taste or sense of smell Skin rash Discolouration of fingers or toes
Source: World Health Organization
In severe cases, a person may have breathing difficulties or develop pneumonia.
Generally, the average time for symptoms to manifest is thought to be 5 – 6 days after infection. However, it is important to note that this is only on average. Some people who contract COVID-19 may not present any symptoms at all but will still be able to spread the virus. On the other hand, some individuals will present with symptoms after the sixth day past infection. At the moment, the medical consensus seems to be that where a person with COVID-19 does display symptoms, this will be within a 14-day window.
How COVID-19 Spreads
Currently, it is understood that COVID-19 spreads in the following ways:
  • Direct contact with a person while they are infectious
  • Direct or indirect contact with respiratory droplets (such as when a person coughs or sneezes)
  • Direct contact with objects and surfaces which are contaminated by respiratory droplets
    As COVID-19 is a new disease, the vectors of transmission are still being studied, including as to whether the virus can be spread through droplets that remain in the air.
    Vulnerable Groups
    Based on the current evidence, the Commonwealth Department of Health has identified that people in the following close contact settings may be most at risk of contracting COVID-19:
  • Travellers who have recently been overseas
  • Those who have been in close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19
  • People in correctional and detention facilities
  • People in group residential settings
    Every person has the same risk of contracting COVID-19, however some persons are at higher risk of serious illness / complications if they are infected with COVID-19. The Commonwealth Department of Health has identified that these persons at higher risk include:
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 50 years and older with one or more chronic medical conditions
  • People aged 65 years and older with chronic medical conditions
  • People aged 70 years or older
  • People with compromised immune systems
    For further information, please refer to the following resources:

National Coronavirus Helpline 1800 020 080
NSW Health Department Helpline 1300 066 055
QLD Health Department Helpline 13 432 584
VIC Health Department Helpline 1800 675 398
SA Health Department Helpline 1300 232 272
WA Health Department Helpline (08) 6373 2222
TAS Health Department Helpline 1800 671 738
ACT Health Department Helpline (02) 5124 9213
NT Health Department Helpline (08) 8922 8044
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D. Duties under WHS Laws
Every person working in the screen industry has a role and responsibility to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of themselves and others at the workplace. Every person is required to comply with applicable WHS laws. It is important that all players in the industry understand their WHS obligations to eliminate or minimise the possibility of exposure to COVID-19 at the workplace.
Overview of Applicable Laws
At present, each State and Territory (as well as the Commonwealth), has its own WHS legislation. While there are minor jurisdictional differences between States and Territories, the same general WHS principles, duties and rights apply across all Australian jurisdictions. These Guidelines are intended to cover all jurisdictions.
Duties of a PCBU
Persons conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) (including employers) have a duty to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety of workers while at work at the business or undertaking. A PCBU must also make sure that the health and safety of other persons is not put at risk from work carried out as part of the conduct of the business or undertaking.
The definition of a PCBU captures most modern working arrangements. There may be multiple PCBUs involved in a single production. A non-exhaustive list of examples of PCBUs in the industry is set out below:
Who can be a PCBU in the Screen Production Industry?
•A production company
•Self-employed directors, producers and crew members (including pre-production, shoot and post production)
•Businesses or contractors providing services such as creative or technical services •Agencies responsible for advertising, editing, event production, film distribution and marketing
To comply with this duty, a PCBU must, so far as is reasonably practicable:
  • Provide and maintain a work environment without the risks to health and safety of workers, visitors and any other persons at the workplace
  • Provide and maintain safe systems of work (for example, by adapting scripts, modifying production schedules and implementing departmental bubbles)
  • Ensure that the handling and storage of plant, structures and substances does not pose risks to health and safety (such as by ensuring regular cleaning and disinfecting and the use of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE))
  • Provide the necessary training, information, instruction and supervision for workers, visitors and other persons at the workplace to protect against risks to health and safety (such as through infection control training, hygiene training and putting up posters and signage in prominent locations)
  • Providing adequate facilities for the welfare of workers at work (for example, through providing sufficient hygiene stations)
  • Ensuring that the health of workers and the conditions at the workplace are monitored for the purpose of preventing the transmission of COVID-19
  • Ensuring that a worker is not exposed to a risk of contracting COVID-19 when occupying accommodation owned or managed by the PCBU
Duties of Officers
Officers of a PCBU have a duty to exercise due diligence to ensure that the PCBU complies with their WHS duties and obligations. Officers include any person involved in the governance of a PCBU. This includes (but is not limited to) a Company Director, Company Secretary, a person who participates in decision-making that affects the whole or a substantial part of the business, or a person who has the capacity to significantly affect the financial standing of the business.
Officers must ensure that the PCBU has appropriate resources in place to enable a proactive risk management approach to COVID-19. Officers need to be able to demonstrate that they have put sufficient resources in place at their PCBU to eliminate the risks so far as is reasonably practicable and, after exhausting elimination strategies, implement risk minimisation strategies so far as is reasonably practicable.
Duties of Workers
A worker owes a duty to take reasonable care that their acts and omissions do not adversely affect their own health and safety, or the health and safety of others while at work. A worker is any person who carries out work in any capacity in a screen production, including:

Employees Contractors or subcontractors (and their employees) Outworkers
Employees of labour hire companies Apprentices Trainees
Volunteers Students on work experience A PCBU that carries out work for another PCBU
Workers have a responsibility to ensure that their acts or omissions do not result in another person at the workplace contracting COVID-19. Workers can discharge this duty by:
  • Following all directions and instructions given in relation to minimising or eliminating the risk of COVID- 19 at work
  • Following any applicable orders / directions given under public health / emergency management legislation
  • Following physical distancing and hygiene protocols
  • Reporting to their PCBU and not attending the workplace if they are displaying symptoms of COVID-
    19 or feel unwell
  • Reporting any suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 to their supervisors
  • Using PPE as instructed
  • Taking reasonable care for their health and safety outside the workplace (in respect of COVID-19 transmission) for the duration of a shoot
E. Risk Management Approach
Risk Management Process
To establish a COVID-Safe environment, PCBUs must implement a risk-based approach to returning or recommencing work. In particular, prior to recommencing work, PCBUs must ensure that they have developed a COVID-Safe risk mitigation plan, based on a risk assessment for each particular production.
Under WHS laws, potential hazards must be identified, risks associated with those hazards need to be assessed, and control measures are required to be implemented to eliminate or minimise those risks. These steps are depicted in the diagram below:
Risk Management Process
Establish Context:
  • Activity being conducted
  • Size of production
  • Requirements of the script
  • Location of site/s and sets
    (including proximity to any COVID- 19 'hotspots' or clusters and whether the production is indoors/outdoors)
  • Number of contractors involved
  • Domestic and international travel
  • Information provided by workers
    and supervisors which impacts
  • Relevant orders and directions
    under biosecurity / public health /
1. Identify Hazards and Risks
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4. Review and Revise Controls (as required)
2. Assess WHS Risks
emergency management laws
3. Control WHS Risks
Hierarchy of Controls
WHS risks are managed by selecting a package of control measures for a screen production, based on what is reasonably practicable for that particular production, based on the hierarchy of controls. The hierarchy of controls ranks the classes of control measures from the highest level of protection (elimination) to the lowest (PPE). This is set out in the first diagram below. The second diagram provides examples of controls which fall within the various classes of control measures.
Hierarchy of Controls
Eliminination Substitution Isolation Engineering Administrative Personal Protective Equipment
Elimination: Eliminate non-essential workers, tasks and activities
Substitution: Modify production schedules, creative and script adjustments
Isolation: Implement physical distancing measures
Engineering: Improve ventilation, provide hands-free trash receptacles, build barriers and partitions
Administrative: Designate distances on the ground through markings, provide workers with training, information, instruction and supervision
PPE: Provide and require the use of masks, gloves and eyewear
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Depending on the specific health and safety risks in relation to the transmission of COVID-19 that are particular to each production, a PCBU will need to use the hierarchy of controls to select a suite or combination of appropriate control measures to ensure that each identified hazard is either eliminated (where reasonably practicable) or reduced to its lowest possible level. There is no 'one size fits all' approach – each PCBU must implement a package of measures that is reasonably practicable for its workplace. Not all control measures will be reasonably practicable. For example, while testing workers for COVID-19 may be useful, it may not be reasonably practicable for each production. However, some control measures may be mandatory according to relevant public health or emergency management orders / directions in place at a given time.
When is a control measure 'Reasonably Practicable'?
Determining whether a control is reasonably practicable requires a PCBU to weigh up all relevant matters, including:
  • The likelihood of COVID-19 transmission occurring
  • The degree of harm that might result from a person contracting COVID-19
  • What the person concerned knows or ought to reasonably know about risk of contracting COVID-19
  • Ways of eliminating or minimising the risk of COVID-19 transmission
  • The availability and suitability of ways of eliminating or minimising the risk of COVID-19 transmission
  • The cost associated with the available ways of eliminating or minimising the risk of COVID-19 transmission (this is not concerned with whether a control measure is 'expensive' or 'cheap' based on the budget for a production, but rather, it is relevant to the extent that implementing a control measure may be grossly disproportionate to the risk)
    Before you proceed with any production or project, policies and procedures must be in place to manage the risk of transmission of infection within the workplace. The control measures outlined in these Guidelines are intended to assist you as PCBUs within the screen industry to manage this risk.
F. Engagement and Consultation
Consultation with Workers
PCBUs have a duty to consult with workers, so far as is reasonably practicable, when workers are, or are likely to be, directly affected by a matter relating to health and safety. This is known as vertical consultation:
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• Provide the relevant information to workers
• Give workers a chance to express their views, raise WHS issues and contribute to decision-
• Genuinely take these views and matters into consideration
• Advise workers of the outcome of the consultaiton in a timely manner
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making Review Consultation is required in relation to COVID-19 in the following circumstances (at a minimum):
  • When assessing the risk of transmission of COVID-19 arising from various tasks performed in the course of the production (including when considering the particular risks posed to members of a vulnerable group)
  • When making decisions about the ways to eliminate or minimise those risks
  • When making decisions about the adequacy of facilities for the welfare of workers
  • When proposing changes which may affect the risk of transmission of COVID-19 in the workplace
  • When making decisions about the procedures for:
o Consulting with workers o Resolving WHS issues (such as a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19) o Monitoring the health of workers (such as temperature checks or COVID-19 testing) o Monitoring the conditions at the workplace o Providing information and training to workers relating to COVID-19
Consultation, Co-operation and Co-ordination with other PCBUs
In addition to the requirement of vertical consultation, PCBUs have a duty to engage in what is known as horizontal consultation. That is, where another person or PCBU interacts or undertakes overlapping activities at work, each of those persons must, so far as is reasonably practicable, consult, co-operate and co-ordinate activities with those other persons.
Where a contractor attends the site of a screen production (for example, to provide a service or make a delivery), both the contractor and the production company owe a duty to eliminate or minimise, so far as is reasonably practicable, the risk of the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. This may include a production company advising contractors of its COVID-19 protocols that apply at its production, requesting information and verifying how the contractor is managing the risks of COVID-19 in its operators and / or providing contractors with an instruction sheet on the COVID-19 protocols that must be followed at its workplace.
PCBUs which may need to be consulted and co-ordinated with include:
The person with management or control of the location where work takes place / is hired for production purposes
A delivery partner A supplier A contractor providing technical services (e.g. post production, set construction)
Recommencing Work
The PCBU's plan for recommencing work needs to be developed in consultation with workers and any other relevant PCBUs. In relation to horizontal consultation, while the views of all other PCBUs should be taken into account as part of the consultation process, it will be particularly important to consult, co-operate and co- ordinate with those who are involved with the production on a full-time or frequent basis prior to a production recommencing.
G. Mandatory Control Measures
Members of the screen industry, like members of the public, are subject to public health and emergency management orders in place to protect against COVID-19. These control measures apply in the workplace as well as outside the workplace as they are required by current Federal, State and Territory public health and emergency management orders. Accordingly, the control measures in this section are mandatory and applicable to all screen productions (including at departmental levels) to be incorporated as part of a PCBU's COVID-Safe risk mitigation plan:
Physical Distancing
  • Minimise the number of people present at the workplace by using remote monitoring and videoconferencing software to enable individuals to work from home, where possible
  • Ensure physical distancing of at least 1.5 metres between persons (where this is not possible, other control measures such as PPE must be considered)
  • Ensure there is not more than 1 person per 4 square metres of floor space, where possible (subject to any relevant public health / emergency management orders and directions)
  • Establish work group teams that can work with minimal outside interaction
  • Limit an area to one work group team at a time, where possible
  • Limit the number of people in all areas to essential personnel only (this includes personnel required to undertake work safely)
  • Minimise the number of people present at the workplace by restricting all non-essential visitors
  • Rearrange the physical workplace to facilitate physical distancing, including using masking tape (or other markings) to indicate 1.5 metres distance (particularly for areas where people stand or queue in close proximity)
  • Conduct meetings by videoconferencing software or phone where possible
  • Where meetings cannot be held virtually, conduct them in a large and well-ventilated space and
    keep the duration short
  • Advise workers that they should not greet each other through physical contact
  • Set up hygiene stations (with either soap and water or sanitiser) at entries to the workplace and/or sets
  • Put up signage with correct hygiene protocols, such as correct handwashing technique (available from Safe Work Australia and see the Appendices at Section L of these Guidelines)
  • Supply workers with disinfectant to sanitise their equipment, workspaces and any personal property brought to work (such as phones and sunglasses). Ensure a regular, sufficient supply of sanitiser and hygiene products is available
  • Ensure that workers do not share equipment, to the extent possible
  • Ensure that all bathrooms and sinks have hand wash, paper towels and a suitable waste disposal
    container available
  • Implement a regular cleaning schedule to sanitise high touch surfaces
  • Advise workers on hygienic practices when coughing or sneezing (such as coughing / sneezing into a tissue and disposing it immediately, or coughing into an elbow)
  • Provide separated storage spaces for personal belongings and clothing items where workers do not have individual work areas
  • Undertake deep cleaning at the end of each day (including the set, production office, workshops, kitchen and food service areas and any common touch areas like door handles)
Working Arrangements
  • Ensure that employees who are unwell with any cold / flu symptoms do not attend the workplace, and work remotely (if fit to work)
  • Stagger start, finish and break times, where possible
  • Film outdoors, rather than indoors, where possible
  • Provide workers that are working remotely with guidance on how to set up an ergonomic workstation
  • Ensure that those working remotely have information on the support available to them, such as an employee assistance program (where applicable)
  • Optimise ventilation in the workplace
  • Ensure that workers have access to personal equipment to minimise sharing
Contractor and Supplier Management
  • Implement contactless deliveries (such as through removing the requirement for a physical signature on delivery and checking that systems for e-invoicing are in place)
  • Implement a contractor screening declaration or questionnaire
  • Collect and maintain contact information for every person in physical contact with production to facilitate contact tracing
Health Monitoring
  • Put up signage in prominent locations about the symptoms of COVID-19 and inform workers who to contact / what to do if they begin feeling any of these symptoms at work (available from Safe Work Australia)
  • Advise workers not to attend work if they are unwell
  • Implement appropriate screening measures to detect symptoms of COVID-19 as early as possible. These could include testing, temperature checks, questionnaires, or encouraging voluntary use of the COVIDSafe App (noting that any encouragement must advise workers that downloading the app is voluntary and refusing to download it will not result in any form of adverse action) prior to commencing work and / or on an ongoing, regular basis
  • Encourage workers to get tested if they are showing symptoms of COVID-19 and / or in line with current health advice
  • All workers to complete COVID-19 Infection Control Induction before beginning work on a production (including hygiene protocols, physical distancing requirements (including changes in interactions with co-workers), information about the symptoms of COVID-19, how to report illness and a reminder not to attend work if displaying any of these symptoms)
  • All workers to be trained on the proper use of PPE (further details below)
  • Conduct a daily toolbox talk to remind workers of COVID-19 protocols
Planning, Communication and Consultation
  • Distribute current guidelines, posters and infographics on COVID-19 symptoms in all areas throughout the workplaces (available from Safe Work Australia )
  • Ensure that information regarding COVID-19 is provided on call sheets, specific to that particular day's filming requirements (information can include the location of the nearest COVID-19 testing station)
  • Conduct a briefing before the commencement of work and schedule regular ongoing briefings with up-to-date information about COVID-19
  • Ensure that a process exists for communicating information to workers in a timely manner
  • Ensure that an emergency procedure exists for suspected and confirmed cases / outbreaks
  • PCBUs, through their Heads of Departments (HODs), to ensure that Safe Work Method Statements and Risk Assessments are current and are in place prior to commencing work
  • Where children are needed for production, ensure that they and their chaperones are taken into account in each department’s Safe Work Method Statements and Risk Assessments
  • Appoint a COVID-Safe Supervisor, and appropriate supporting personnel, as identified in the COVID-Safe Risk Management Plan.
Personal Protective Equipment
  • Require use of appropriate PPE, such as masks, eye protection and gloves, for workers who are unable to maintain physical distancing for certain activities or where equipment must be shared (refer to the Appendices at Section L of these Guidelines) (examples of such workers may include makeup artists, sound, medical staff and costume)
  • Ensure that single-use PPE is disposed of in a closed receptacle
  • Ensure that a regular, sufficient supply of appropriate PPE is available. Ensure that any PPE supplied to workers is genuine and adheres to the relevant Australian Standard or international equivalent (noting that the supply of 'fake', non-compliant PPE is currently an issue)
  • Ensure that workers are trained on the proper use of PPE, including how to fit-test a respirator type mask (such as P2/N95)
H. Specific Control Measures
The specific control measures set out in this section are optional. PCBUs should consider what combination of specific departmental controls listed in this section are reasonably practicable to implement as part of their screen production, based on the risk assessment the PCBU has undertaken.
Development and Pre-Production
Comprehensive planning of a production can greatly assist in elimination and / or minimisation of the risk of transmission of COVID-19 at the workplace. In the development and pre-production stage, PCBUs in the screen industry should consider a package of the following controls which are reasonably practicable for their production as part of a COVID-Safe risk mitigation plan:
Work Methods
  • Use remote working tools for development (including writers' rooms, meetings, casting sessions)
  • Perform casting remotely and via self-tapes
  • Require personnel to work remotely and independently during pre-production, where possible
  • Perform location scouting remotely with 3D mapping where possible, or with a limited crew if remote / digital scouting not possible
  • Require all accounting to be done electronically and prohibit cash payments unless necessary
  • Adopt cashless payment methods for all petty cash floats, including pre-paid debit cards
  • Consider splitting pre-production into teams so work may continue in independent streams without risk of cross-infection
  • Provide training to workers in the tools required to perform their work remotely, where required
  • Facilitate digital communications and forms over paper-based versions
  • Consider locations that best enable physical distancing (such as those that are outdoors and well- ventilated)
  • Ensure that the layout of the workplace facilitates physical distancing and prevents mixing of work teams, where possible (such as by eliminating common areas and / or designating multiple break areas to avoid congestion and large gatherings)
  • Consider the impact of COVID-19 measures on production, which may extend preparation and shooting time (including the requirement to secure hygiene supplies, secure additional space and secure additional crew)
  • Establish a COVID-Safe Supervisor and, depending on the size of the production, department with responsibility for implementing and ensuring compliance with COVID-19 safety measures, including: training, inductions and briefings; screening and contact tracing records; PCBU response to a positive test; maximum numbers of people in an area (particularly on-set) and physical distancing; restricted movement between areas; additional mental health support; general hygiene; ensuring that additional cleaning is performed safely to a set schedule; ensuring sufficient supplies of PPE, hygiene and cleaning products
    Close Proximity, including physical intimacy
Engage an Intimacy Co-ordinator to work in collaboration with the Director, First Assistant Director and Safety Supervisor / Officer to map out scenes involving close contact or intimacy (including the control measures that will be implemented) and consider creative alternatives or technological solutions for those scenes to ensure physical distancing, where possible (noting that an Intimacy Co-ordinator will not be able to advise on the control measures themselves)
  • Review scenes that include physical proximity between performers (such as intimacy, action in confined spaces, fighting / action sequences, crowds, party scenes, stunts, multi-person scenes, extras and dialogue that requires singing or shouting) and consider creative alternatives or technological solutions that allow for physical distancing and COVID-19 safe sets
  • Consider how factors such as length of dialogue and direction faced by cast members (for example, whether they speak directly facing each other) can affect risk of COVID-19 transmission
  • Ensure that cast members provide written consent to work in scenes that require close contact or intimacy in their contract of employment (noting that informed consent will require cast to be advised on the nature of the scenes, how the scenes will be filmed and what control measures will be implemented)
  • Ensure that details about the scenes requiring close contact or intimacy are provided in casting briefs as part of the auditioning process
  • Ensure that extras are not asked to perform any scenes requiring close contact or intimacy
  • Amend production schedules to ensure that scenes requiring close contact or physical intimacy are filmed either all together (to ensure that quarantine bubbles are maintained) or at a later stage in the production
  • Consider a period of quarantine, counted as time worked, for all persons involved in filming the specific scenes:
    o Where cast are required to maintain quarantine bubbles, require initial COVID-19 testing and temperature checks, with this maintained regularly throughout the shoot (for example, subsequent temperature checks each day prior to filming)
    o Where cast are required to maintain quarantine bubbles and are provided with on-set accommodation, ensure that processes are in place to eliminate or minimise the risk of COVID-19 in on-set accommodation (such as by limiting and / or restricting visits and ensuring that accommodation has adequate hygiene facilities and is supplied with disinfectant wipes and hand sanitiser)
  • Advise cast members involved in a shoot with close contact or physical intimacy that they may wish to self-isolate for a period of 14 days following the shoot
  • Ensure that additional time is factored into the production schedule to accommodate matters such as regular hygiene breaks and consultation with cast and crew (in particular, cast should be able to comment and contribute to decision-making in relation to any proposed scenes and be able to raise their concerns)
Ensure COVID-19 specific contractual obligations are agreed in writing at the outset by relevant parties, including informed consent to film scenes requiring close contact or intimacy
On-Set Cast and Crew
By their nature, screen productions involve numerous persons interacting in a designated area, which may create issues with maintaining physical distancing in line with Government recommendations as well as a need for strict hygiene control measures. Accordingly, PCBUs in the industry should consider a combination of the following controls as part of a COVID-Safe risk mitigation plan prior to recommencing work:
  • Perform work one work team at a time, where possible
  • Ensure on-set cast and crew observe physical distancing requirements
  • Encourage remote working for non-essential personnel
  • Mark studio spaces and location areas into safe sections to facilitate isolating different production teams from each other and restrict movement between areas to essential personnel only
  • On-set security, WHS crew and relevant supervisors to monitor adherence to physical distancing requirements, hygiene protocols and control measures in the workplace
  • Transition from paper-based call sheets, updates, documents and forms to digital
  • Limit unnecessary and casual contact between individuals
  • Stagger or limit crew calls, meeting practices and rehearsals
  • Monitor gatherings between takes
  • Provide designated spaces for those on standby
  • Consider separating cast and crew into teams with separate entry and exit points
  • Provide non-touch entry and exit doors where possible (noting that fire doors are not to be wedged open in any circumstance)
  • Undertake cleaning throughout shoot day (especially in common areas and high-traffic areas)
  • Undertake deep cleaning at the end of each shooting day (including the set, production office,
    workshops, kitchen and food service areas)
  • Provide multiple monitor screens to ensure social distancing, or make footage accessible on personal devices
  • Ensure there are sufficient toilet facilities to enable intermittent closure for cleaning purposes
Performers, Extras and Presenters
Cast members (including extras) and presenters interact with a variety of departments of a screen production on a regular basis. There is a high likelihood that cast will need to interact with each other and crew at close range. In order to maintain the health and safety of cast members, a suite of the following controls should be put in place as part of a COVID-Safe risk mitigation plan to eliminate or minimise risks:
  • Require cast to be tested for COVID-19 prior to the commencement of work and regular testing throughout the shoot
  • Encourage cast to perform own set checks, where possible
  • Encourage cast to dress themselves, where possible
  • Provide cast with bagged clean towels and laundry bags for used costume items
  • Require cast to handle hand-held props out of a sanitised bag and return the prop to the same bag when finished (where this is not possible due to prop size, props to be sanitised before and after use
  • Ensure that anyone interacting with cast at close range wears appropriate PPE
  • Ensure cast are provided with sufficient space to keep their wardrobe, makeup, props and personal belongings separate, and ensure that additional time is allocated to allow cast to adhere to the physical distancing requirements
  • Limit block-throughs and rehearsals to essential personnel only
  • Ensure dressing rooms and green room are set up to facilitate physical distancing
  • Provide cast with the option to do their own hair and makeup (including touch-ups and removal), including through virtual tutorials with hair and makeup personnel, where this is feasible
  • Limit the number of makeup artists to one per cast member
  • Limit visitors to cast trailers to essential personnel
  • Prohibit sharing of comfort items such as hot water bottles, jackets and slippers
  • Stagger arrivals for extras and ensure that sufficient facilities are set up for costume, hair and makeup to allow for social distancing and that facilities are sanitised between uses
  • Ensure that extras’ transport and holding areas are sufficient to allow for social distancing
Catering / Food and Beverage
Catering and food and beverage services are essential to the industry which involves long hours, tight schedules and often remote locations. The provision of food to workers on a screen production involves many risks, including the risks of breaches of hygiene protocols, violating physical distancing requirements with large gatherings and interaction between numerous people (including contractors). In order to eliminate or minimise these risks so far as is reasonably practicable, PCBUs in the industry should consider an assortment of the following control measures in developing a COVID-Safe risk mitigation plan:
  • Ensure that catering staff have adequate space to work with the required social distancing
  • Require all meals to be pre-prepared and individually packaged, or alternatively, require caterers to serve food wearing appropriate PPE with all dishes to be cleaned with full-strength detergent (where fruit is available that is not individually wrapped, require individuals to wash fruit with water prior to consumption)
  • Ensure that any worker responsible for the service of food has been trained in safe food practices and COVID-19 protocols
  • Require all drinks to be in single serving containers
  • Provide hands-free water stations
  • Require all dinnerware, cutlery and napkin packs to be disposable where possible, or preferably, cleaned in an industrial dishwasher
  • Make markings on the ground where crew will queue to facilitate physical distancing
  • Prohibit the service of buffet-style meals
  • Ensure regular cleaning of beverage stations, tables and chairs (including before and after meals)
  • Ensure that hygiene stations are available at the entrance of the area where food is served
  • Require discrete departments to eat separately
  • Stagger mealtimes and rest breaks between departments, where possible
Assistant Director / Director / Script Supervisor Departments
Those with co-ordinating senior roles on a screen production are at risk of exposure to COVID-19 given their interaction with a wide variety of departments, persons and equipment. In considering recommencing work, PCBUs in the industry should consider a collection of the following control measures in preparing a COVID- Safe risk mitigation plan to ensure risks are eliminated or minimised so far as reasonably practicable for persons in such roles:
Director to be briefed on the logistical effects of COVID-19 safety measures and the resulting limited capacity for last-minute changes
  • Distribute call sheets and other production paperwork digitally
  • Ensure call sheets contain key COVID-19 information and contact details
  • First Assistant Director to include COVID-19 mitigation practices in all daily briefings
  • First Assistant Director to limit interactions with on-set unit only
  • Second Assistant Director to be only crew member permitted to travel between set unit, costume unit and makeup unit, where possible
  • Script Supervisor to limit interactions with on-set unit only
  • Runners to limit interactions to off-set crew only
  • Provide individuals who require communications with personal headphones
  • Require individuals to change their own batteries in communications units
  • Require communications boxes to be sanitised upon delivery and return
Camera, Grips and Lighting
The work undertaken by camera and lighting department personnel involves handling shared equipment and the potential for violating physical distancing requirements to safely undertake work. In order to mitigate against these risks, PCBUs in the screen industry should consider implementing a package of the following controls as part of a COVID-Safe risk mitigation plan:
  • HODs to ensure that all crew are trained in, and adhere to, safe working methods and risk mitigation measures
  • HODs to allocate specific crew to separate tasks and areas
  • Sanitise all cameras, lighting and grip equipment with an appropriate sanitiser before use
  • Equip each individual with their own supply of an alcohol-based disinfectant and hand sanitiser
  • Use colour-coded equipment (with tape / stickers) to identify when equipment has been cleaned and is ready for next use
  • Prohibit workers outside of lighting department form handling lighting equipment
  • Prohibit workers outside of camera and grip department from handling camera equipment
  • Restrict view finders to individual use only, and require sanitisation after each use
  • Require use of remote camera focus pulling equipment and remote heads on dollies and cranes
  • Call lighting department to set for pre-light after the art department has finished work
    VFX Department
  • Limit VFX personnel close to camera and cast
  • Ensure that physical distancing is maintained when scanning multiple cast and extras
  • Incorporate the fitting of tracking markers on cast into personal makeup where possible, otherwise require VFX crew to wear PPE when fitting tracking markers
  • Use colour-coded equipment (with tape / stickers) to identify when equipment has been cleaned and is ready for next use
  • Equip each person in the VFX department with their own supply of an alcohol-based cleaner / disinfectant wipes and sanitiser
  • Require each crew member to be responsible for the same equipment for each setup to avoid cross contamination
  • Require that any tracking that needs to be affixed on other department gear (such as props, costumes, grips, and cameras) will be notified as soon as possible and disinfected after application
  • Sanitise any gear and equipment used on set, before and after use
  • Ensure that sharing of laptops, media drives and HDDs is minimised and that each item is sanitised
    after use
  • Provide additional time at the end of the day to ensure cleaning and sanitisation of equipment used
Personnel in the sound department are required to encroach on physical distancing requirements in order to undertake their work. A variety of options for managing these risks should be implemented as part of a COVID-Safe risk mitigation plan, including:
  • Require one designated worker to wear PPE when fitting all radio microphones to cast members
  • Use colour-coded equipment (with tape / stickers) to identify when equipment has been cleaned
    and is ready for next use
  • Prevent swapping of radio microphone belts and pouches between cast members
  • Require radio microphone transmitters be cleaned with disinfectant wipes by boom swinger / sound assistant
  • Prohibit handling of sound equipment by anyone outside of the sound department (and where possible, require personnel to only handle their own equipment), noting that in some circumstances, assistance may be required from the costume department in interacting with cast
  • Equip each person in the sound department with their own supply of an alcohol-based cleaner and sanitiser
  • Require all timecode equipment, including the slate, to be sanitised before installation
  • Provide sufficient additional time at the end of the day to ensure cleaning and sanitisation of
    equipment used
  • Dispatch sound cards or drives (cleaned with disinfectant wipes) to the data wrangler only once daily
Art Department
The art department's work involves a large number of common touch points, shared equipment and working in close proximity to others. This may include construction, SFX, armoury and animal wrangling. In order to control these risks, a suite of the following control measures should be considered as part of a COVID-Safe risk mitigation plan:
  • Work with locations to plan for the impacts of COVID-19 measures (such as cleaning and physical distancing) in relation to building, dressing, shooting and striking sets
  • Where necessary, establish smaller cohorts of crew who will work in groups or pairs for tasks such as installing and moving furniture
  • Require the use of PPE for crew working in close proximity, or where working with cast (for example, when rigging special effects)
  • Implement permanent separate teams to minimise cross-contamination
  • Plan purchases to minimise trips needed to brick and mortar stores
  • Allow for additional time for cleaning of sets, dressing and props, including crew from different departments accessing sets separately
  • Sanitise high-touch set surfaces before use and between takes, where possible
  • Establish a preparation team to act as a separate unit to the on-set unit, where possible
  • Limit handling of art department objects to art department crew and cast, where possible, and ensure that hands are washed between each take
  • Equip each individual with their own supply of disinfectant and hand sanitiser
  • Set up a separate cast table as part of the standby's gear dump, to be cleaned at regular intervals
  • Disinfect props prior to sealing until on-set or with the standby
  • Minimise the use of shared props and sanitise shared props between takes, including between cast and stunts (in the case of shared props, performers to wash hands between each use)
  • Use colour-coded props / equipment (with tape / stickers) to identify when equipment has been cleaned and is ready for next use
  • Disinfect goods in the prop store where necessary
  • Maintain a record of props used for the purposes of contact tracing if there is an infection Art Department, Costume, Construction and SFX Buyers, Runners
  • Require crew to carry a COVID-19 kit in their vehicles containing masks, gloves, disinfectant wipes and sanitisers
  • Require crew to assess their personal safety before entering any store, supplier or residence. (If the site appears unsafe and does not adhere to current COVID-19 requirements, the crew member will need to find an alternative)
  • Require crew to adhere to the current COVID-19 recommendations, including sanitising hands on entry and exit of the premises
  • Require crew, when dealing with the general public, to phone ahead to ascertain whether it is safe to enter private premises, discuss COVID-19 protocols and agree to a method of engagement before visiting
  • When visiting a location to view an item, particularly where the location is unknown, arrange for the owner of the item to bring it outside if possible
  • Upon purchasing an item, require a crew member to wear disposable gloves when handling the item, and sanitise it as soon as possible before loading it into their vehicle
Work undertaken by the locations department involves a high risk due to it being an unknown workplace; potential space restrictions and possible interaction with persons not part of the workplace (being members of the public). In preparing a COVID-Safe risk mitigation plan, PCBUs in the screen industry should consider a suite of the following options for controlling these risks:
Liaise with all other on-set departments to ensure there is enough space to dress, shoot and strike locations while adhering to physical distancing requirements
  • Provide additional time to book locations and backup locations (allowing for increased challenges to gaining access and permissions)
  • Vet locations for suitability prior to crew arrival on-site
  • Consider each location's specific COVID-19 Management Plan
  • Where a location is residential, provide alternative housing for all occupants (including animals) for the duration of the shoot
  • Minimise reconnaissance visits and crew in attendance at a location where remote pre-filming visits are not sufficient
  • Ensure locations are deep cleaned prior to bump-in and after bump-out
  • Isolate crew from public where possible during location use
  • Digitise paperwork wherever possible
  • Ensure that putting up and taking down location signage is undertaken by one person
  • Ensure travel to locations is in accordance with current public health advice
Costume / Wardrobe
There are a number of physical distancing challenges and common touch points between numerous people in a costume department carrying out its daily activities. It is important that these risks are minimised so far as is reasonably practicable. In developing a COVID-Safe risk mitigation plan, you should consider a combination of the following controls:
  • Provide additional time after casting to allow online purchases / delivery and separate individual fittings
  • Ensure appropriate PPE is worn where a worker is in close contact with another person
  • Conduct in-person fittings with only one cast member and one stylist / designer per office / fitting
  • Allow for additional time to brief and advise extras on costume choices remotely when they are supplying their own costumes
  • Clean and sanitise high-touch surfaces between fittings
  • Ensure that costumes are stored in bags and travelled separately to set
  • Ensure that a mask is worn when handling costumes and accessories that are to be worn within 24 hours
  • Keep on- and off-set units separate
  • Provide handwashing facilities at the entry of all costume areas
  • Ensure there are sufficient laundry facilities for additional cleaning of costumes
  • Prohibit non-essential cast and crew from entering the costume truck
  • Wipe down costume trucks at regular intervals during the shooting day
  • Ensure costume and cast members wash hands before / after fitting or dressing cast
  • Require cast to be dressed in full costume before travelling to the set, where possible
  • Where dressing at the location is necessary, require this to occur in a designated space for the performer rather than the costume truck
  • Equip each individual with their own supply of an alcohol-based disinfectant and hand sanitiser
  • Permit assisted styling for featured cast only
  • Require extras to wear their own clothes from home, where possible
  • Prevent costume pieces from being shared, including for stunts, unless they are washed and dried (or otherwise sufficiently cleaned) between uses by different cast members
  • Supply cast with laundry bags for used costume items
  • Sanitise accessories before and after use
  • Store each cast member's costume separately, where possible, to prevent multiple handling
  • Use colours (for example, tape / stickers) to code costume pieces, such as shoes and accessories, to identify when a costume / piece has been used and needs to be cleaned ready for the next use
  • Stunt performers to provide their own pads and to clean and sanitise them after each use
Hair and Makeup
The work of the hair and makeup department involves encroaching on physical distancing requirements. In preparing a COVID-Safe risk mitigation plan, PCBUs in the industry should consider a group of the following controls in combination to ensure health and safety so far as is reasonably practicable:
  • Minimise time in close contact when applying makeup or prosthetics, where possible
  • Require hair and makeup personnel to wear PPE if physical distancing cannot be observed
  • Wash hands prior to beginning any work on a cast member, and immediately after
  • Ensure that any sanitiser used on tools and equipment is fit for purpose (noting that these tools and equipment will be used directly on a cast member)
  • Measure size of trucks, tents and rooms to determine the maximum number of people allowed in the space (not more than one person per four square metres) – generally this will be no more than three artists and three cast in a five station truck, two artists and two cast in a four station truck, one artist and one cast in a two station truck, and one artist and one cast per trestle table in a tent
  • Where more space is required, ensure that additional work areas are adequately set up (for example, hard flooring, electricity, ventilation, shelter and appropriate lighting)
  • Provide sharps disposal and autoclave cabinets in makeup areas
  • Supply personal toiletry bags for makeup removal by cast in green room
  • Minimise equipment kept on benches and ensure that anything not in use is kept in sanitised containers with lids or covers
  • Separate hair and makeup into on-set and off-set units to minimise cross contamination
  • Sanitise and bag hair and makeup kits (tagging kits as such)
  • Ensure makeup applicators, towels, hair wraps and removal supplies are single-use and disposed of properly
  • Wash / sanitise reusable equipment between use
  • Ensure that any used equipment is placed in a lidded container until it can be cleaned
  • Purchase separate makeup kits for each cast member (including combs / brushes) and prohibit the sharing of equipment between cast and crew
  • Ensure that key cast have their own personal makeup, or a personal makeup artist
  • Require cast to touch up and remove their own makeup, where possible
  • Require makeup artists working in close proximity with others to use appropriate PPE (if worn, gloves to be disposed of between different cast members)
  • Prevent makeup supplies from being handled by anyone outside of the makeup department (ideally, makeup supplies will be handled by only one person within the makeup department)
  • Require wigs and hair extensions to be covered overnight and cleaned and disinfected before being applied to cast (wigs may only be handled by person applying and removing them)
  • Reserve hair and makeup for feature cast, if practicable
  • Maintain a 1.5m distance between hair and makeup stations
  • Limit station trucks to essential personnel
  • Schedule time between cast members to allow for adequate cleaning of any tools, equipment or furniture, as required
  • Wipe down makeup chairs with disinfectant wipes between uses by different cast members
  • Spray all surfaces and interiors with disinfectant at regular intervals when in use
  • Provide a hygiene station near the entrance of the makeup area
  • Wash cast member's hair prior to styling, where possible (alternatively, require cast members to wash their own hair prior to arrival on set)
  • Use digital tools to share continuity notes and photographs
  • Schedule camera tests to one cast member at a time
  • Require extras to arrive with their own hair and makeup done, and with their own basic personal makeup supplies (extras may be requested to remove facial hair prior to arrival)
  • Prohibit bringing any additional items into the makeup area (including the consumption of food)
Safety and Medical
Screen productions may involve inherently risky tasks and activities, which involve the necessary provision of essential healthcare services and the necessary violation of physical distancing requirements to ensure work is undertaken safely and without risk to health. In recommencing work, as part of a COVID-Safe risk mitigation plan, PCBUs in the screen industry should consider a package of the following options:
  • Review emergency procedures to ensure that they can be followed while maintaining COVID-19 safety measures
  • Ensure that appropriate personnel (such as a nurse, safety supervisor and / or COVID-19 officer) are on the production to ensure all protocols and procedures are adhered to, including on set
  • Ensure that any person treating a worker for injury or illness wears appropriate PPE
  • Remove anyone displaying cold / flu symptoms to the isolated treatment room
  • Ensure that anyone displaying cold / flu symptoms is removed from the workplace, seeks medical advice and receives a medical certificate and / or undergoes a COVID-19 test (returning a negative result) prior to return to work
Transport services have the potential to involve an encroachment on physical distancing requirements and potential to compromise hygiene protocols due to space restrictions as well as use by transient workforce members. To ensure these risks are eliminated or minimised so far as is reasonably practicable, PCBUs in the screen industry should consider a variety of the following options as part of a COVID-Safe risk mitigation plan:
  • Ensure that workers required to travel in vehicles travel separately where possible and maintain physical distancing (such as by prohibiting workers from travelling in a vehicle where more than 50% of seats are occupied)
  • Clean and sanitise hired vehicles, such as trucks and vans (in particular, the steering wheel and inner / outer door handles should be wiped down at the end of the day or between drivers)
  • Open windows, where possible, to ensure ventilation
  • Ensure vehicles are supplied with hand sanitiser, disinfectant wipes and appropriate PPE, if physical
    distancing cannot be maintained
  • Prohibit runners from picking up or delivering outside their designated team area
  • Require crew to wash hands and / or use hand sanitiser prior to entering vehicle for transportation to and from unit base
  • Ensure vehicle interiors and high-touch surfaces (such as door handles, steering wheel and seat belt clasps) are cleaned and sanitised between uses
Unit department has a large responsibility for the provision of workspaces, common areas and hygiene. Further, the unit department interacts with a number of people and equipment from different departments. In preparing a COVID-Safe risk mitigation plan, consider a mixture of the following control measures:
  • Ensure that trucks are well-ventilated
  • Liaise with each on-set department to ensure sufficient additional working space and facilities at
    each location to maintain physical distancing
  • Require unit crews to work in separate teams to minimise likelihood of cross-contamination
  • Ensure that unit department personnel are trained in COVID-19 safe cleaning methods. Ensure hand sanitiser, PPE and hygiene stations are present in any area provided for cast or crew
  • Ensure that stools, pop up frames, benches, tables, toilets and all communal equipment are regularly sanitised
  • Provide additional shade and shelter areas to facilitate physical distancing
  • Provide dedicated chairs for key personnel, such as the Director, as required
Work undertaken in workshop environments, including special effects teams, construction teams and costume, stunts and others, involves multiple common touch areas, gatherings of numerous people as well
as the potential encroachment on physical distancing requirements. PCBUs in the industry should consider a combination of the following controls as part of a COVID-Safe risk mitigation plan:
  • Conduct a daily toolbox talk to discuss COVID-19 safety measures
  • Ensure delivery and visitor protocols set down by the production are adhered to
  • Ensure sufficient spacing between workstations to maintain social distancing
  • Ensure that workstations are cleaned and disinfected at the end of each day
  • Provide crews with their own personal safety equipment (for example, where needed, crew members should be provided with their own welding masks)
  • Provide disinfectant wipes and/or hygiene stations located in the immediate vicinity of shared equipment to facilitate cleaning before and after use
  • Provide hygiene stations in each work area which can be easily accessed
  • Stagger breaks and mealtimes
  • Establish separate on-set teams where possible
Office work provides its own set of COVID-19 risks, as it may involve ventilation concerns, shared equipment and confined space. In preparing for recommencing work in an office environment, PCBUs in the screen industry should consider a collection of the following controls as part of a COVID-Safe risk mitigation plan:
  • Provide adequately spaced individual workstations and workstation equipment to prevent sharing of equipment
  • Place disinfectant wipes, paper towels and a closed receptacle for waste disposal in the immediate vicinity of common touch areas, such as printers, doors and cupboard handles (ensuring that they are wiped down and cleaned after each use)
  • Conduct meetings involving people from other departments remotely or outside, whenever possible
  • Digitise paperwork where possible
Post Production
Post production work activities may involve common touch areas and the use of shared equipment, often in limited space. In order to eliminate or minimise these risks as far as is reasonably practicable, PCBUs in the industry should consider a number of the following controls in developing a COVID-Safe risk mitigation plan:
  • Ensure work is performed remotely, where possible
  • Where work is not performed remotely, ensure that the premises / room is well-ventilated
  • Limit work in suites at post-production houses to one person per suite or not more than one person per four square metres of floor space (noting that this will be dependent on the size of the editing suite)
  • Require musicians to record separately, or alternatively, in larger recording spaces which facilitate physical distancing if separate recording is not possible
  • Deliver footage via cloud services, if possible, or alternatively, via hard drives which can be sanitised
  • Provide technical support remotely, where possible
Provide individual workstation equipment and dedicated workstations to editors, assistants, post- producers and the director
Domestic and International Travel
From 25 March 2020, Australian Citizens and Permanent Residents were prohibited from travelling overseas unless they are granted an exemption (these generally relate to the provision of essential services, obtaining medical treatment and for compassionate reasons). From 29 March 2020, all arrivals in Australia (by air or sea) are required to isolate in mandatory quarantine accommodation for 14 days. This mandatory quarantine will take place in the city of arrival, regardless of whether it is the traveller's final destination.
States and Territories have applied their own restrictions regarding interstate travel. While some States and Territories are permitting interstate travel, there may be a requirement to quarantine on arrival. Further information is available at health.gov.au. If your work or production involves domestic or international travel:
  • Prior to requiring crew and / or cast to undertake travel for the purposes of a production, any immigration requirements and restrictions should be considered (including requirements to quarantine)
  • Amend production schedules where to possible to require any domestic and international travel to be undertaken at a later point during production
Due to the potential of large gatherings in a screen production environment, testing for COVID-19 may be a reasonably practicable risk management measure for some screen productions. In preparing a COVID-Safe risk mitigation plan, PCBUs in the screen industry should: Consider conducting temperature checks and / or COVID-19 testing where physical distancing cannot be observed (such as when filming scenes with close contact or intimacy or where large groups of vulnerable people are present
Review and monitor the availability of appropriate testing at regular intervals and in the event of a positive test of COVID-19 in the workplace
Mental Health
Taking care of the mental health and wellbeing of all persons involved in the screen production industry is critical during COVID-19 pandemic conditions. In developing a COVID-Safe risk mitigation plan, PCBUs in the industry should consider a combination of the following control measures:
  • Inform workers of the resources available to support their mental health, including an employee assistance program, where available (this information may be provided on documents provided to cast and crew, such as call sheets)
  • Provide workers with a point of contact to discuss any concerns
  • Ensure that workers have regular team-based interaction (such as a morning tea or a scheduled
    videoconference), and assess the overall team's mental health during this time
  • Ensure that workers have regular check-ins with a supervisor
  • Ensure that new policies, procedures and expectations relating to preventing the transmission of COVID-19 are clearly and ethically communicated to workers, and that there are sufficient resources for workers to meet these policies, procedures and expectations
  • Ensuring that policies and procedures are in place to prevent discrimination, harassment and bullying of a worker who has contracted COVID-19
  • Ensure that supervisors and team leaders receive training in identifying mental health issues with a specific COVID-19 emphasis so that they can refer affected individuals to, and assist in providing, support. Training may be delivered by way of a formal course, such as Mental Health First Aid Training
  • Ensure that a plan is in place to address return to work concerns from workers and their families (for example, over handling of COVID-19 shutdown experience, working from home arrangements and continuing concerns about contracting the virus)
  • Ensure that a crisis care plan is in place (such a plan may be created in collaboration with the Safety Supervisor / Officer, Set Nurse and/or Mental Health Co-ordinator)
  • Introduce or continue access to employee assistance programs, with content tailored to supporting workers experiencing mental distress from the impacts of COVID-19
  • Implement workplace initiatives with a holistic approach to mental health (as well as initiatives to address the above, such initiatives may also address aspects of wellbeing such as nutrition, mindfulness and exercise)
    Resources relating to anxiety, depression, suicide and wellbeing are available from:
  • BeyondBlue: https://www.beyondblue.org.au/
  • Lifeline: https://www.lifeline.org.au/
  • Safe Work Australia: https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/topic/mental-health
  • SANE Australia: https://www.sane.org/
  • Head to Health: https://headtohealth.gov.au/
  • Support Act: https://supportact.org.au/
    The following organisations are available to provide assistance over the phone:
  • Lifeline: 13 11 14
  • Kids Helpline: 1800 551 800
  • MensLine Australia: 1300 789 978
  • Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467
  • Beyond Blue: 1300 22 46 36
  • Headspace: 1800 650 890
  • Support Act: 1800 959 500
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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
In collaboration with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, staff at AFTRS and Screen Australia, consultants and organisations, the following Guidelines have been developed for use when working with Communities.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples of Australia have experienced poorer health outcomes than the rest of the Australian population during recent pandemics. The vulnerability of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples to COVID-19 is well understood by community leaders and non-Aboriginal policy makers and clinicians alike, for a number of inter-related factors: an already high burden of chronic diseases; long-standing inequity issues related to service provision and access to health care, 20% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples live in remote and very remote areas; and pervasive social and economic disadvantage in areas such as housing, education and employment.
One of the lessons learned from the H1N1 swine flu pandemic in 2009 was that a ‘one size fits all’ approach to infectious disease emergencies is unlikely to work. Partnerships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, communities, community organisations, government agencies, and cast, crew and production companies will be important moving forward to ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples feel safe in their respective roles in the screen sector. While there may be some extra considerations to ensure the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, it is important that the screen sector continues to support the employment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples cast and crew, which will ensure ongoing Indigenous representation on Australian and International screens.
Working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples Cast and Crew
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples are at greater risk of serious illness if they are infected with coronavirus if they:
  • are aged 50 years and over with chronic medical conditions have a weakened immune system
  • are aged 70 years and over
    All of the guiding principles set out in this document should ensure the health wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in the screen sector. However, with these issues in mind it is important to take a proactive approach when engaging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cast and crew, and when production is taking place in locations where there is large Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations.
    Filming in Remote and Regional Communities
    Travel into remote communities is currently restricted. State and territory governments, in consultation with Indigenous communities and in line with the Biosecurity Act 2015 (Cth), have nominated areas where these restrictions apply. The National Indigenous Australians Agency, has information about travel restrictions into remote communities, including maps of the restricted areas.
    If you plan to or are shooting in an area with large Indigenous populations, considerable communication about production locations should be shared with local key Indigenous Organisations. Consultation with these Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community organisations should take place as early as possible.
    Returning Home Protocols
    If you have hired Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cast or crew, and they are returning to their extended families after a shoot, it is important that all measures are taken to ensure they are in a safe and transmission free work environment.
    If returning home to remote communities, regional centres or interstate, follow all travel restrictions and COVID-19 directives regarding health and hygiene. If someone is from a remote community, they may be
issued a special exception to leave and return. If they are exposed to an outbreak outside of their community, there might be requirements for a quarantine period.
  • https://www.health.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/2020/04/remote-community-entry- requirements-in-place-under-the-biosecurity-act-2015_0.pdf
  • https://www.niaa.gov.au/indigenous-affairs/coronavirus-covid-19
  • https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-
  • https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-
  • https://www.screenaustralia.gov.au/about-us/doing-business-with-us/indigenous- content/indigenous-protocols
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I. Additional Matters
It is recommended that prior to commencing or recommencing work, screen productions should confirm the availability and scope of coverage for a pandemic situation with their insurance provider/s. This includes any coverage in the event of a government order that may prevent work on a production from continuing.
Employment / HR
During the COVID-19 pandemic, screen productions need to balance legal obligations, including those relating to WHS, employment and anti-discrimination laws. It is recommended that screen productions should consider the following non-exhaustive list during the pandemic:
  • Both employees and employers have legal obligations set out in legislation that outlines minimum entitlements for all employees, any applicable awards, industry agreements, employment contracts or workplace policies;
  • In circumstances where an employee is unable to attend work, in response to various situations such as for employees who are unwell as a result of COVID-19, or who wish to self-isolate as a precaution, employers are encouraged to explore options with employees such as:
o Availability of personal leave;
o Availability of annual leave;
o Availability of other paid leave (such as long service leave or any paid leave available under any applicable award or industry agreement);
o Provision of discretionary paid leave; o Availability of unpaid leave (such as unpaid pandemic leave and annual leave changes to
o Whether there are any flexible working arrangements that can be explored to suit an individual employee's needs and circumstances; and
o Right to return to previous role once fit for work;
  • Whether it is reasonable for workers to refuse certain forms of health monitoring or to wear PPE;
  • Privacy, confidentiality and anti-discrimination issues around the collection of health information from workers and / or disclosure of a positive COVID-19 test; and
  • Whether any changes or requirements put in place as a result of COVID-19 would breach anti- discrimination legislation such as terminating the employment of an employee who has COVID-19.
    The position in relation to the above matters will be subject to any applicable contract of employment, industry agreement, award and / or workplace policies and procedures.
J. Review of Guidelines and Control Measures
In the current Pandemic climate, the situation with COVID-19 can rapidly escalate as a result of new outbreaks and / or clusters of infections. The virus is still new and our understanding of it develops every week. For instance, while some control measures, such as the wearing of PPE in particular contexts, or conducting temperature checks for specific groups of workers, may be considered appropriate now, the guidance may be updated as our understanding of COVID-19 develops. Accordingly, any control measures should be reviewed on a regular basis.
The following circumstances (although not an exhaustive list) provide a 'trigger' for the review of control measures:
  • If the State or Territory government introduces, amends or revokes its COVID-19 orders / directions under biosecurity, public health or emergency management legislation
  • If the Federal, State or Territory government amends biosecurity and / or public health laws relating to COVID-19
  • If there is a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 in the workplace
  • If there is an outbreak of COVID-19 in an area where a production is being filmed or where part of
    the production is located
  • If the Federal, State or Territory Health Department releases new guidance or amends its existing
    guidance on COVID-19
  • If the National, State or Territory WHS regulator releases new guidance or amends its existing
    guidance on COVID-19
    In general, screen productions and all PCBUs in the industry should ensure that they identify reliable sources of information and have processes in place to ensure that the above are monitored so that any changes can be considered as soon as possible.
K. Incident Management and Response
Each screen production and PCBU in the industry must have an incident management and response plan in the event of a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19. Any incident management and response plan should, at minimum, involve the steps sets out in the diagrams below:
Suspected or Confirmed Case of COVID-19
•Immediately isolate the person from others at the workplace. •Provide them with a disposible mask (preferably P2/N95) to wear.
•Comply with any requirements in the jurisdiction to notify the relevant health department and / or WHS regulator.
•Ensure that the person has a means of transport to their home or a medical facility.
•Discuss the option of working from home, if the person is fit to work. •Inform the person of the availability of any leave entitlements and
employee assistance programs. •Provide ongoing support during the person's period of self-isolation.
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•Clean and disinfect the areas where the person and close contacts have been in the last 14 days.
•Prohibit persons from entering those areas until the process is complete - if required, evacuate and close down these areas.
•Ensure that the persons undertaking the cleaning wear appropriate PPE.
•Trace who the person had close contact with in the past 14 days. •If required by public health officials, advise close contacts that they
have been / may have been exposed, encourage them to get tested and follow advice on quarantine requirements.
•Advise the person to monitor their health over the next 14 days.
•Require medical clearance (a negative test result) prior to allowing the person to return to the workplace.
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•Review risk management controls relating to COVID-19 and consider whether any changes need to be made to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 in the workplace.
•Consult workers on any WHS issues.
Additional Considerations
  • It may not be necessary to close down the entire workplace, if it can be confirmed that the person with a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 and close contacts only visited specific areas
  • Outbreaks of COVID-19 at the workplace may be reported on in the media and subject to intense scrutiny. It is important to establish a communication strategy ahead of time in order to manage the relationship with any interested parties who are reporting on the matter
  • Privacy obligations should be considered when informing other persons at the workplace that they have been / may have been exposed to COVID-19 – in many circumstances, it will not be necessary to disclose the name of the person with a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19, or alternatively, a person may give consent for their name to be disclosed to assist with contact tracing
    A PCBU may be required by law to notify the relevant health department and / or WHS regulator in their jurisdiction that a person at the workplace has contracted COVID-19, or that they suspect this has happened. Safe Work Australia has set out the WHS incident notification requirements in each jurisdiction in relation to COVID-19.The Safe Work Australia website also supplies up to date WHS information and guidance relating to COVID-19.
    The contact details for these departments and regulators are set out below.
    Health Departments

National Coronavirus Helpline 1800 020 080
NSW Health Department Helpline 1300 066 055
QLD Health Department Helpline 13 432 584
VIC Health Department Helpline 1800 675 398
SA Health Department Helpline 1300 232 272
WA Health Department Helpline (08) 6373 2222
TAS Health Department Helpline 1800 671 738
ACT Health Department Helpline (02) 5124 9213
NT Health Department Helpline (08) 8922 8044
WHS Regulators
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13 10 50 https://www.safework.nsw.gov.au/
SafeWork NSW
13 23 60 https://www.worksafe.vic.gov.au/
WorkSafe Victoria
1300 365 255 https://www.safework.sa.gov.au/
SafeWork SA
1300 307 877 https://www.commerce.wa.gov.au/worksafe
WorkSafe WA
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1300 362 128 https://www.worksafe.qld.gov.au/
Workplace Health and Safety Queensland
(02) 6207 3000 http://www.worksafe.act.gov.au/
WorkSafe ACT
1800 019 115 https://worksafe.nt.gov.au/
NT WorkSafe
(03) 6166 4600 (outside Tasmania) or 1300 366 322 (within Tasmania) https://www.worksafe.tas.gov.au/
WorkSafe Tasmania
1300 366 979 http://www.comcare.gov.au/
L. Appendices
How to Wash Hands
Source: How to Handrub Poster, World Health Organization
Types of Face Masks
Source: Types and Uses of Face Masks Infographic, Safe Work Australia
How to Put on a Face Mask
Source: Adapted from 'How to Put on a Face Mask', Safe Work Australia
1. Thoroughly clean hands and dry them before opening the mask from packaging. 2. Ensure that the mask does not have any obvious holes, tears or faults. 3. Identify the top of the mask (usually by a stiff, bendable edge). 4. Secure the mask to face using ear loops, ties or band.
5. Pinch the stiff nose piece to the shape of your nose. 6. If your face mask has ties, take the bottom ties and tie at the nape of your neck with a bow. 7. Adjust the bottom of the mask over your mouth and under your chin.
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How to Put on, Use, Take Off and Dispose of a Mask
Source: World Health Organization