COVID 19 Update
May 5, 2020
Blue Ox Studio Update
As you all know, the past few weeks have been a non-stop roller coaster ride. One of the hardest decisions for us all is to weigh keeping businesses operating while staying mindful of the health implications of doing so. This has resulted in several temporary changes to our business as we look out for the safety of our clients and crews.
COVID-19 Preparedness Plan for Blue Ox MPLS
Blue Ox MPLS is committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace for all our workers. To ensure that, we have developed the following Preparedness Plan in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Photographers, crews, and clients are all responsible for implementing this plan. Our goal is to mitigate the potential for transmission of COVID-19 in our workplaces, and that requires full cooperation among workers and management. Only through this cooperative effort can we establish and maintain the safety and health of our workers and workplaces.
Photographers and crews are responsible for implementing and complying with all aspects of this Preparedness Plan. Blue Ox MPLS staff have our full support in enforcing the provisions of this policy.
Our clients and crews are our most important assets. We are serious about safety and health and keeping our clients and crews working at Blue Ox MPLS. Crew involvement is essential in developing and implementing a successful COVID-19 Preparedness Plan. We have involved our crews in this process via thorough conversations, taking into consideration the variety of roles and workflows on set, and altering plans based on feedback received. Our Preparedness Plan follows Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) guidelines and federal OSHA standards related to COVID-19 and addresses:
• hygiene and respiratory etiquette;
• engineering and administrative controls for social distancing;
• housekeeping – cleaning, disinfecting and decontamination;
• prompt identification and isolation of sick persons;
• communications and training that will be provided to managers and workers; and
• management and supervision necessary to ensure effective implementation of the plan.
Screening and policies for employees exhibiting signs and symptoms of COVID-19
Photographers, crews, and clients have been informed of and encouraged to self-monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. The following policies and procedures are being implemented to assess crew health status prior to entering the studio and for crew to report when they are sick or experiencing symptoms.
• Anyone with a fever, or with any symptoms of COVID-19 (cough, fever, shortness of breath, chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, loss of taste or smell) is NOT permitted into the studio, regardless of booking status, and should immediately notify Dean or Keeley.
• ALL visitors (crew and client) to the studio MUST perform a temperature check before arriving to the studio.
• Upon arriving at the studio, all crew should safely and confidentially document their daily temperature, using the provided individual forms.
• Anyone who has had close contact with someone with COVID-19, or exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, should NOT enter the studio, and should immediately notify Dean or Keeley.
• All crew and clients are strongly encouraged to maintain safe social distancing and hygiene practices outside of the studio, in order to prevent potential COVID-19 exposure.
• Blue Ox MPLS reserves the right to determine on-site working eligibility for any crew and/or client.
Blue Ox MPLS has also implemented a policy for informing clients and crews if they have been exposed to a person with COVID-19 at their workplace and requiring them to quarantine for the required amount of time. Blue Ox MPLS will quickly investigate to determine who has been in close contact with the infected individual, and anyone who is suspected to have been exposed in the studio will be immediately contacted by phone.
In addition, a policy has been implemented to protect the privacy of client’s and crew’s health status and health information. No personal or identifying information will be released without prior permission, and the upmost care will be taken to prevent any unnecessary personal or health information from being shared.
Basic infection prevention measures are being implemented at our workplaces at all times. Crews are instructed to wash their hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water frequently throughout the day, but especially at the beginning and end of the work day, prior to any mealtimes and after using the toilet. All visitors to the studio will be required to wash their hands prior to or immediately upon entering the facility. Each studio bay will also be equipped with hand sanitizer (that use sanitizers of greater than 60% alcohol) that can be used for hand hygiene in place of soap and water, as long as hands are not visibly soiled.
Respiratory etiquette: Cover your cough or sneeze
Crews and clients are being instructed to cover their mouth and nose with their sleeve or a tissue when coughing or sneezing and to avoid touching their face, in particular their mouth, nose and eyes, with their hands. They should dispose of tissues in the trash and wash or sanitize their hands immediately afterward. Respiratory etiquette will be demonstrated on posters and supported by making tissues and trash receptacles available to all crews and clients.
Social distancing is being implemented in the workplace through the following engineering and administrative controls:
• Limiting the total number of people/projects in the studio at one time.
• Projects will be limited to only the essential crew and clients.
• Every attempt will be made to do things virtually whenever possible. This includes but not limited to:
• Preproduction meetings
• Retouching team
• Client direction and approvals when feasible.
• Technology options will be used for remote viewing, allowing for on site or off site collaboration.
• Social and physical distancing practices will be necessary in the studio
• Physically separating the space between teams with temporary walls and curtains to not only limit the physical interaction between teams, but to eliminate physical interaction between teams and the surfaces they touch.
• Masks will be required to be worn in the studio, and will be provided if necessary.
• Each team will be assigned to one of the three entrances to the building for their use.
• Each team will be assigned to one of the three bathrooms for their use.
• Surface cleaning and disinfecting will be done multiple times each day.
• If any meals or snacks are provided to the teams during the shoot, it will be individually packaged.
• Compostable cups and utensils will be used for food service.
• Each team will have access to their own coffee, beverages and microwave.
• Crew and clients are prohibited from gathering in groups and confined areas and from using other’s personal protective equipment, phones, personal computers, workspaces, and chairs.
• The handling of on-set computers and equipment will be discussed daily, with photographer and assistant clearly determining who touches what equipment, and the appropriate thorough cleaning plan between each use, with provided EPA-registered disinfectants.
Regular housekeeping practices are being implemented, including routine cleaning and disinfecting of work surfaces, equipment, tools and machinery, and areas in the work environment, including restrooms, break rooms, lunch rooms and meeting rooms. Frequent cleaning and disinfecting will be conducted in high-touch areas, such as phones, keyboards, touch screens, controls, door handles, railings, copy machines, etc
• Due to the varied nature and workflow of each job in the studio, a specific cleaning plan will be created on a per-job basis by the photographer, producer, and photo assistant. Specific cleaning responsibilities while a job is in-progress may vary based on crew size and workload, but ultimately the photographer and photo assistant are responsible for overseeing ongoing cleaning, including cleaning and disinfecting of any “shared” spaces, such as coffee/break areas, shared work stations, entryways, door handles, etc, at least 3x daily, with an EPA-registered disinfectant.
• Stylists will be provided EPA-registered disinfectants and cleaning supplies to thoroughly clean any studio equipment used during the job (kitchens, tables, racks, carts, props, etc.).
• After the wrap of each job, the photographer and photo assistant are responsible for ensuring a thorough cleaning of the space, including work stations, computers, photo equipment, cords, racks, carts, tables, chairs, bathrooms, conference rooms, etc, with an EPA-registered disinfectant. This will incur additional wrap time between jobs.
• Should a client or crew member get diagnosed with COVID-19, any/all jobs that person is currently on, or jobs happening in spaces potentially infected by a previous job, will immediately halt until all equipment and surfaces can be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected with an EPA-registered disinfectant.
Communications and training
This Preparedness Plan was communicated via email to all crew and necessary training was provided. Additional communication and training will be ongoing on a project-by-project basis and provided to all crew who did not receive the initial training. Photographers and Keeley and Dean are to monitor how effective the program has been implemented by regular communication and feedback from each job. The studio and crew are to work through this new program together and update the training as necessary. This Preparedness Plan has been certified by Blue Ox MPLS management and was posted throughout the workplace. It will be updated as necessary.
Blue Ox MPLS