SPA and MEAA update screen safety guidelines

Screen Producers Australia (SPA) and the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) have released updated screen industry safety guidelines for the first time in nearly 20 years.

Delivered with the support of the state screen agencies, the National Guidelines for Screen Safety are directed at productions of all levels and will be subject to ongoing consultation, review, and updates.

The MEAA and SPA have been working on the guidelines for the past three years, during which they have consulted with different sections of the industry.

The live document features information on relatively new protocols, including links to the industry-led COVID-19-Safe Guidelines and the MEAA Intimacy Guidelines for Stage and Screen, both of which were released last year.

There are also details on the legal framework that governs work health and safety (WHS) in Australia and how to facilitate WHS compliance, as well as guides to incident response and how screen workers can identify, avoid, and manage risks.

The refresh is the first of its kind since SPA and the MEAA collaborated on the Draft National Film and TV Safety Guidelines 2004.

MEAA entertainment, crew and sport federal president Fiona Donovan told IF there was a need to not only reflect the current workplace environment but also be adaptable to future changes.

“The best thing about these guidelines is they have the ability to change and grow with our industry,” she said.

“One of the wonderful aspects of the film industry is that we all work together and this is just another part of that process. As the climate changes and issues come up, the guidelines can be reviewed and improved.”

SPA CEO Matt Deaner told IF it was important to build knowledge about the mechanics of risk that sometimes get overlooked in conversations about the sector.

“It’s everyone’s care of everyone that makes it all work,” he said.

“People dealing with the sector sometimes only think about the creative execution and maybe the glamour of it, but they are not thinking about human beings working with each other, which is a critical part of it.

“The day-to-day work that people need to understand is how to look after one another, so they can move onto different experiences within the industry.”

Find the guidelines here.