International Federation of Actors (FIA) publishes new Health and Safety Guidelines for Live Performance, Film & Television work - a useful resource for internationally mobile performers. Available in English & French.
FIA is a federation of over 100 actors’ guilds, unions and professional associations all over the world. We also have a strong European group called EuroFIA which is an organized voice at European level. We work regularly with the Commission and the Parliament and we are members of two social dialogue committees for the live performance and audiovisual sectors.
Health and safety concerns are a major issue in relation to the working conditions of performers, who are frequently exposed to hazards not common in other lines of work, and which they are likely to be more accepting of, for artistic reasons. Accidents are a common problem. Particularly within the framework of mobility in other countries, actors may not be proactive in seeking to ensure minimum standards and protection.
FIA has tried to make progress on this issue and is working towards advancing it within the framework of the social dialogue committees. Equally, it has undertaken a substantial piece of work on this issue within its own structures. In 2007, FIA developed and launched its own “Health and Safety Guidelines”, which are tailored specifically towards performers and aim to inform them and make them aware of simple and practical actions they themselves can take to better ensure their own self and safety in the workplace.
The idea for the guidelines arose from a demand from FIA’s members for clear and comprehensive information as regards health and safety issues affecting performers. It was felt that FIA would be in a unique position to compile and offer an overview of norms in this area, taking in to account regional differences and national approaches, as well as the perspective of performers themselves.
The primary aim of the guidelines is to inform, and therefore empower, performers themselves. Their main strength and added value is that they are tailored to be a tool for performers. Thus, they offer an overview of health and safety issues in given thematic areas, highlighting the minimum expectations a performer should have and highlighting the practical actions a performer can take to ensure his/her own safety. The guidelines also empower performers by clearly identifying and describing hazards that they may be confronted with and highlighting their right to object to them or to demand that the working conditions take better account of them. The guidelines were drafted within the FIA office on the basis of a wide range of health and safety resources, including industry approved guidelines, resources collected through members and other national and international sources.