Safety Pass Turns 20!
This year, we are proud to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Safety Pass, Contract Services’ industry-leading safety training program! For twenty years, Safety Pass has played an indispensable role in providing safety training for the film and television production workforce and promoting a culture of safety on set.
About Safety Pass
Safety Pass training is contractually mandated in more than 20 collective bargaining agreements applicable to tens of thousands of motion picture production Industry Professionals working in the greater Los Angeles area, but it is also available to many Industry Professionals working in other areas. Since inception, the program has provided more than 2 million hours of safety training to more than 100,000 motion picture Industry Professionals across the United States.
The Safety Pass program creates a common safety framework for a highly mobile freelance workforce of creative and technical professionals who will likely work for a variety of different employers over their careers. It serves as the foundation for additional on-set training that employers may provide during a given production. It also helps employers meet industry safety standards as well as stringent regulations set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Cal/OSHA and other government agencies.
Safety Pass courses have always been specifically tailored to the motion picture industry. There were 21 courses when the program launched in 2003, but today there are more than 35 courses that cover a wide range of topics, including rigging safety, hazard communication, firearm safety, fall protection, workplace electrical safety, respiratory protection, noise exposure and many others. Most courses are available online, although some, such as forklift operation, boom lift/scissor lift operator safety, and fire extinguisher safety, are taught in person at our training facility in Burbank, California.
Solving a Problem: A Centralized Training Program for a Freelance Workforce
Before the launch of Safety Pass, each studio was responsible for providing training to its own production employees, who would often need to retake the same training when working for a different studio. In the absence of a centralized program like Safety Pass, the training each employee received could vary from employer to employer. Safety Pass was created to address this inefficiency and set a common, baseline standard for industry safety training.
In the mid-‘90s, Contract Services and the major studios collaborated to present Cal/OSHA with the concept of an industry-wide training program that could be portable from employer to employer. Imagining the freelance workforce as citizens of different countries, they conceived of a “safety training passport” that could be stamped and presented to each employer to demonstrate that the employee was up to date on their safety training. Thus, the idea of the Safety Pass program was born.
Since then, Contract Services, the major studios and industry unions and guilds have engaged in a sustained partnership to grow the program and make it a success.
Safety Pass took on a new urgency during the COVID-19 pandemic. Because this training infrastructure existed, Contract Services was able to quickly deploy a brand-new COVID-19 Prevention Training course (C19), which was one of the requirements imposed by local and state governments across the country as a precondition for returning to work. (More than 100,000 Industry Professionals have completed the C19 course since it launched in October 2020.)
From Passport to Passcard to Compliance Report
When Safety Pass launched in 2003, trainees received a “Safety Passport” booklet, which was designed to resemble an actual passport. The booklet later evolved into a laminated Passcard, which was slightly more portable and convenient.
Of course, neither the Passport nor the Passcard could be updated in real time, so in January 2020, Contract Services replaced them with the digital Compliance Report, an electronic report that’s always up to date and that Industry Professionals can download at any time from their Portal or the CS ACCESS mobile app.
Not only is the Compliance Report easier to read and more environmentally friendly, Industry Professionals can also send their Compliance Report directly to their employer by email from within their Portal or the app.
The Compliance Report also helps Industry Professionals keep track of other requirements they may have, such as requirements relating to their status on the Industry Experience Roster.
Recognizing the Anniversary
We plan to recognize the 2023 anniversary of Safety Pass throughout the year in various ways. In the meantime, to make sure you’re up to date with your safety training requirements, remember to download the CS ACCESS mobile app and check your Compliance Report.
With much appreciation for the constant support of labor and management who have made this program a success, we proudly say, “Safety: Pass It On.”