Nearly 130 DGA members on the Southern California Qualifications list recently attended a DGA Safety Passport Training Class at the Guild's National Headquarters in Los Angeles. The training was presented by the DGA-Producer Training Plans.
According to DGA Assistant Executive Director Louis Zogaib, the class grew out of the 2002 contract negotiations with the AMPTP.
The DGA Safety Passport program was specifically geared toward DGA members. The course content evolved through discussions by a focus group that included DGA members Yudi Bennett, Kelly Cantley, Anthony Santa Croce, DGA Producer Training Plan representatives Ed Milkovich and Fred Brost, an outside consultant from Watson Wyatt, Zogaib and employer members of the Training Plans and Contract Services.
"Right now the Safety Passport training is not mandatory training for our members," Zogaib said. "However, two things may happen in the near future. One, it could become a contractual requirement in negotiations between the producers and the DGA, and two, the employers, through California state law, may be required to provide the safety training to all its employees, including our members."
Zogaib also stressed that taking the training does not increase a member's liability for safety on the set, referring to the Guild's Oct. 24, 2000, "Safety Notice to DGA Members" from DGA National Executive Director Jay D. Roth, who wrote that, "You ARE NOT personally liable for any of the civil or criminal penalties for an employer's failure to comply with the requirements of [the California Legislature's] Safety order § 3203."
"The employers have made DGA members responsible for safety on the set, but the ultimate responsibility falls on the employer," Zogaib explained. "This safety training is to increase a DGA member's awareness on the set, which is beneficial to all."
AD Yudi Bennett agreed, saying, "It's important training for our members to take because we're in a supervisory capacity, and we're supervising people who have been trained, so we really need training as well."
Members attending the class receive a red safety passport with their picture and other information certifying that they have completed the course.