The IATSE has launched a safety hotline for members to anonymously report hazards on the job. The toll-free number is (844) IA AWARE, or (844) 422-9273. Callers can either leave a message for, or talk to, a safety representative who will look into the matter. Depending on the circumstances, the safety rep will contact the local IATSE office and assist them with the issue, or call the employer directly.
“We remain committed to doing everything possible to keep our members safe and healthy at work,” said IATSE president Matt Loeb. “This new hotline is another measure supporting that all-important commitment.”
The union stressed, however, that its safety hotline “is not intended to take the place of an employer’s hazard reporting plan, or to relieve the employer from their responsibility to keep jobs safe.” Before calling the hotline, the union said, workers who see a hazardous work situation should first notify their employer, department head or shop steward. After that, they should report the problem to their local union, and then call the hotline.
“It may seem a bit strange that you should first report the problem to your employer because many people believe that the employer is the problem,” the union noted. “While there are employers out there that cause many safety issues, they are more likely the exception than the rule.”
IATSE said in February that it would seek to implement the hotline, a decision that came around the one-year anniversary of the death of camera assistant Sarah Jones on the set of Midnight Rider in Georgia. Director Randall Miller, producer Jody Savin, executive producer Jay Sedrish and first assistant director Hillary Schwartz were indicted for their parts in being negligent of safety on the set. Miller was convicted of criminal trespass and involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to two years in prison.
Previously, the International Cinematographers Guild Local 600 launched its own “ICG Safety” app to help members anonymously report unsafe working conditions on film and TV sets. Jones was an ICG member. In addition, a “Set Safety” app was released by a group of anonymous industry professionals. Both provide an anonymous way to report concerns.