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Covid Response Policy 18/05/20

Elements SFX is looking forward to getting back to work as soon as possible, for us as a group to be able to provide special effects for productions we must protect our workspace and our crew prior to arriving on set or studio. To aid with this we are developing the following plan using government guidance as well as examples being set out within the film industry worldwide, whilst encouraging our crew to stay safe and vigilant at all times.

Crew and employee safety;

Once Covid-19 testing is made available to all members of the public, all of our crew either fulltime or self-employed subcontractors will be expected to have been tested by a relevant authority or agreed to testing should it be offered by either Elements SFX or a production employing the company. We will also have the following as standard practice; 

  • Crew will also be asked to complete a health declaration.
  • If a crewmember does develop symptoms Elements SFX will send person home immediately to seek medical advice. Elements SFX will track all crew that the individual has come into contact, whilst notifying (if needed) any productions that the individual may have been working with. 
  • SFX crew will agree to compliance as set out in our Covid-19 risk assessment.

Workshop and office space;

We are lucky to have a large modern workshop facility that has been in lockdown since the beginning of this pandemic. As we come back to work the workshop will be divided into working spaces, (stations) for individuals to work within following the governments 2M metre distancing policy and the size of this crew will be limited to 5 employees only within the workshop. 
Office staff will be limited to only 2, however for the time being office duties will be completed at home unless there is specific reason to carry out tasks in the office. During this time our office will remain locked and out of bounds to workshop crew.

At this stage and with the limited resources available countrywide PPE equipment will be provided to the best of the company’s abilities. At the time of writing guidelines suggest that gloves, masks and eye protection should be worn whilst working inside. Alongside these measures we have included in our Covid-19 RA guidance for the following subjects.

  • General good housekeeping measures including workshop, materials, hire equipment, transportation.
  • Loading and unloading measures.
  • Social distancing on location and within studio.

General housekeeping measures;

  • Materials and equipment that will need to be shared in their use will be cleaned down using detergent spray along with paper towels, (towels will be collected within safe bins and burnt at the end of a working day).
  • Our crew will also clean any materials or hire equipment brought into the company for projects before entering our building and use.
  • We will be using a delayed start and finish time for the crew to reduce contact further as well as staggered lunch and tea breaks. 
  • All communal points such as doors and bathrooms will have detergent sprays stationed in or by them so that crew can clean as they leave these areas. Attention will be made to communal touch points, from our restart these areas will be painted in yellow as a constant reminder.
  • Our kitchen area will be for single occupancy only. Again our crew will clean down anything used and all surfaces to allow the next person to use the space. 
  • There will be no use of the company fridges during this time. Instead our crew will be issued with individual cooler boxes to hold their personal food within. 
  • All crew to be issued with hand sanitizer. 
  • To complete our cleaning regime at our workshops and offices Elements SFX will be employing a cleaning service to clean all the spaces overnight. 

Loading and unloading equipment;

As we have said all of our equipment has been in lockdown since the country was placed into this state. Therefore we are confident on our return there will be no Covid-19 traces within our workshops. To maintain this all pieces of required equipment for productions will be sprayed with detergents and power washed before being loaded onto vehicles. Codes of practice from hire companies will be checked by supervisors for assurance of their standards and compliance to Covid-19 procedures.

Studio / location safety;

To help ease the amount of contact that any of our crew has with others on productions we will be enforcing a strict 1 production per crewmember policy, cohort teams will be set-up and kept separately from other SFX crew to enable management of this strategy. This will mean that rather than our crew servicing multiple productions they will instead be assigned only one, this will give all a consistency and hopefully reduce the risk of contamination further.
Using a reduced crew on productions will mean that there will be a longer set up procedure for us as will the need to set up SFX equipment separately from other departments. We hope that with the introduction of an SFX Supervisor on all productions this added time to the day would be as quick and smooth as possible. 

Within our RA we have set out social distancing, housekeeping and behaviour whilst on set measures.

Implementation / organisation and monitoring;

Elements Special Effects has less than 5 employees, however the seriousness of this disease will mean a constant monitoring of NHS and government updates that will need to be implemented through our larger sub-contractor team. For this we have the following outline;

  • Professional training in virus control / transmission / avoidance will be undertaken by a nominated senior employee, this will be backed up with regular advice from our HS advisors will undertake avoidance.
  • The training will be to be taught and enforced to wider crew using daily briefings and toolbox meetings.
  • Structured timetable of work explained nightly and backed up with email instructions to crew and individuals for the following days and weeks schedules.
  • Mapping of our cohort teams and individuals to avoid cross over within crews.
  • Dedicated RA presented to SFX crew and production for all work to be undertaken.

Elements Special Effects will remain focused on protecting our workforce as well as the wider community that we work within whilst with you. Please make us aware of any practices or ideas that we may have missed so that we can continue to update both our code of practice and risk assessments through this time.

Nick Rideout
Managing Director Elements Special Effects Ltd.