What Does a Covid Compliance Officer Do?

Film and TV productions have started up again, even in Los Angeles (which is still coming down from its summer coronavirus surge). But with strict safety procedures in place, sets now feel very different, even clinical. At the heart of that is the new sheriff in town: the covid compliance officer.

What is a covid compliance officer?

A covid compliance officer is a crew member with the difficult task of making sure that everyone on the cast and crew – from the lead actor to the makeup artist to the truck driver – follows social distancing and sanitation guidelines.

If you’re interested in this job, you can take certification and training courses. The coronavirus compliance officer on the set of indie film The Knocking, for example, completed four certification courses. Two, from a local union, were about preventing exposure and biological hazards. Another from Health Education Services specifically addressed music video, commercial, film and television sets. Lastly, one from Johns Hopkins University covered COVID-19 contact tracing.

Covid procedures on set

The covid officer must make sure that all cast and crew members adhere to strict safety procedures. They include:

  • Washing hands thoroughly
  • Properly wearing a mask that fits
  • Staying six feet away from others
  • Leaving the area when your job is finished
  • Patrolling trailers and other spaces
  • Staggering people and departments
  • Eating and serving food safely

The officer must also follow various guidelines set by the city, state, county, country and labor unions. It’s a difficult and meticulous job – you have to be tough and vigilant. You also have to accept that you probably won’t be anyone’s favorite co-worker.

If safety procedures are not followed, a coronavirus outbreak could endanger people’s lives and result in the shutdown of the production. Various inspectors can also stop shooting if they find that cast and crew members aren’t following rules.

Production in a time of covid may not sound like the fun, social environment we’re used to on film and TV sets – but at least it means we get to see some new shows and movies soon!

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