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Improving Safety Standards on Film Sets: California's New Film Set Safety Bill

In recent years, there have been several high-profile accidents on film sets that have resulted in serious injuries and even deaths. In response, California lawmakers have passed a new film set safety bill aimed at improving safety standards on movie and television sets.


The bill, which was signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom in September 2021, requires productions to have a written safety plan that outlines procedures for preventing and responding to accidents on set. The plan must be prepared by a qualified safety professional and must be reviewed and updated regularly throughout the production process.



One of the key provisions of the bill is the requirement for a "safety meeting" before any filming takes place. This meeting must include all cast and crew members, as well as any contractors or vendors who will be working on the set. The purpose of the meeting is to review the safety plan and ensure that everyone understands their roles and responsibilities for maintaining a safe work environment.


The bill also requires productions to have a designated "safety representative" on set at all times. This person must be trained in first aid and CPR, and must have the authority to stop work if they observe any unsafe conditions or behaviors.

In addition, the bill requires productions to provide adequate rest and meal breaks for cast and crew members, and to ensure that they are not working excessively long hours. This is important because fatigue can contribute to accidents on set.


 

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The film set safety bill was prompted by a number of high-profile accidents in recent years, including the death of a camera assistant on the set of the movie "Midnight Rider" in 2014. The assistant, Sarah Jones, was killed when a train struck a metal bed that had been placed on a railroad trestle without proper permission or safety measures.


The new law is expected to have a significant impact on the film industry in California, which is one of the largest in the world. While some industry groups have expressed concern about the potential cost and administrative burden of complying with the new regulations, most agree that the safety of cast and crew members should be a top priority.


Overall, the film set safety bill represents an important step forward in improving safety standards on movie and television sets. By requiring productions to have a comprehensive safety plan and designated safety representative, the bill should help reduce the risk of accidents and injuries, and ensure that everyone involved in the production process can work in a safe and healthy environment.


 

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