The New Zealand screen sector is being hailed for its innovative approach to managing COVID- 19.

A new partnership between the film industry, ScreenSafe and WorkSafe New Zealand saw the creation of a world class guidance document for the management of COVID-19 in the workplace.

WorkSafe’s Engagement Lead Melanie Dale said the pandemic and imminent lockdowns meant the industry needed to act quickly if they wanted to continue filming.

With this in mind, a committee which included representation from right across the industry, as well as WorkSafe created guidance that would allow for filming to continue – while minimising the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

“This guidance has been a real success for the film industry. We knew we needed to act fast and provide productions of all scales with a clear guidance document to manage COVID-19 and that is exactly what we have done.”

The guidance sets out practical solutions to manage the risk of COVID-19 at all levels of production and is currently being implemented on major scale productions like Avatar, which is currently being filmed in Wellington.

Health and Safety Manager of Avatar’s Paul Andreassend said the process of developing the guidance was inclusive.

“We needed to make sure that we considered all production sizes when developing this guidance as the New Zealand Screen sector is incredibly diverse.

“We took key learnings from WorkSafe’s experience in construction, looked at all the facets of the industry and compared practices, to ensure we were able to be efficient and continue work safely while mitigating the risks associated with COVID-19.”

WorkSafe’s Dale said the guidance showed the strength in industry working alongside WorkSafe to ensure health and safety is managed.

“By working alongside industry to help them manage health and safety risks, we have seen a unique opportunity for filming to continue across all scales of production.”

“We are now hearing that our guidance is being picked up by film makers all over the world to ensure they can keep the cameras rolling in these challenging times.”

The guidance is available on ScreenSafe's website(external link)

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Phone: 021 823 007 or

Email: media@worksafe.govt.nz