IATSE, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, has released a 27-page set of safety guidelines for the reopening of Broadway and other live performance venues.
The objective of this document is to describe by IATSE as "a COVID-19 Safety Program that assures members that standard safety practices and procedures are in place that will cover all crafts, entertainment venues, and workspaces where Stagecraft Department members are employed."
The guideline document was reviewed by medical experts in occupational health and safety. It includes a list of guiding principles and recommended general practices such as:
- Venues must have a written COVID-19 safety plan in place that specifies necessary policies, practices and procedures. In multi-employer venues there must be a process for coordinating activities related to prevention and control of COVID-19;
- In advance of reopening in any setting, local public health authorities should be notified and proper liaison to that authority should be established. All COVID-19 prevention and control measures must be consistent with federal state and local public health guidelines;
- One or more autonomous COVID-19 Compliance Officers with specialized training, responsibility and authority for COVID-19 safety compliance and enforcement will be in the workplace to implement the safety plan and address issues as they arise;
- Systems will be employed to assess health/of all personnel prior to entry onto the workplace;
- The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s Hierarchy of Control will guide approaches to mitigating risk. Engineering and administrative controls for hazard reduction will be developed and implemented whenever feasible, and when not feasible or cannot provide adequate protection, personal protective equipment (PPE) will be used;
- All required PPE will be provided and maintained by the employer
- Effective communication, training, and support programs are essential to the success of a COVID-19 safety plan;
- Assurance of paid leave and income retention if sick or exposed is a critical component of an effective COVID-safety plan;
- Venues must remain compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and the Canadian Human Rights Act when implementing mitigation measures;
- Venues must be continually assessed for the adequacy of their preventive efforts and adjust their operations modified based on changing circumstances.