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Covid Compliance Manager- There appears to be an assumption within the industry that this role will automatically fall to the Stage Manager.  


Fiona Keller
Posts: 17
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(@fiona-keller)
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Joined: 6 years ago

Thoughts-

  • The “Employer” (producer or company) are responsible for ensuring that the rehearsal space is the correct size for its cast and rehearsal room team to maintain social distancing and that the building displays clear signage for hand washing and Covid-19 precautions and compliance.
  • The “Employer” is responsible for ensuring the room is properly cleaned to a Covid-19 Health and Safety Standard before the start of every rehearsal.
  • The “Employer” is responsible for ensuring the that there is adequate hand sanitiser, gloves etc. in the rehearsal room. These are not “running props” but Government sanctioned requirements for the safe reopening of work spaces and therefore not the responsibility of the “worker” i.e. Stage Manager or Production Manager.
  • I would strongly argue that the Compliance Officer should be a full time member of the Company. However in the Independent sector this may not be possible so my suggestion would be as such;
  1. The Compliance Officer is more than 1 person
  2. The Producer, Company or Company Manager are also made a Compliance Officer and are responsible for ensuring the rehearsal room if fit for purpose. There is a clear agreement between the Company and the Venue about who is responsible for signage, maintaining welfare facilities and the cleaning of the rehearsal room. For example if a rehearsal space is being shared then the onus should be on the venue to ensure adequate cleaning is done before and after each group rehearses. And all Compliance officers are issued with a copy of the agreement between venue and company.
  3. While SM’s may wipe down surfaces within the rehearsal room, we are not and will not be responsible for the cleaning of “welfare facilities” which include resting and eating facilities as well as lavatory / sanitary and washing facilities.
  4. SM in room can report to the line manager, company manager, producer or venue manager that stocks of hand sanitiser etc. are running low but the responsibility of replenishing them are not the responsibility of the SM.
  5. If the Stage Manager agrees to be the Compliance Officer then there needs to be an industry wide procedure that takes place;
  • Stage Manager/ management team is given adequate training provided and paid for by the company. Full SM team require said training incase SM falls sick or shows symptoms and another member of SM team needs to take over as Compliance Officer.
  • Stage Manager or management team, Production Manager and Company Compliance Manager (Producer/CM/Director) meet in advance of rehearsal to mark up space, check venue facilities and discuss Covid Strategy.
  • Stage Management and full cast and crew are issued with the Company’s Covid Health and Safety procedures and risk assessment for the rehearsal process in advance of their start date.
  • On the first day of rehearsal an induction on Health and Safety is mandatory for all members of the company, either given by the Company Covid Officer, the PM or SM or all 3 as per government guidelines. (This can be done over zoom to ensure no extra people are in the rehearsal room)
  • During induction cast nominate a Worker Representative, similar to an Equity Rep, who will work in conjunction with the Compliance Managers to ensure Covid H&S regulations are being upheld as per government guideline. (This may need to be done in advance of rehearsals if training is required?)
  • Full company are made aware that they are responsible for their own health and Safety and that a huge amount of self-governance is required and expected.

 

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