Actsafe has many PDF documents in our library that can be downloaded or viewed online.

Disease/Respiratory Concerns

Respirator Fit Testing Service

As of January 1st, 2018, respirator fit testing will cost $200 (+ GST) per hour.

Due to rising cost and increased demand, our free fit testing model is no longer sustainable. This new fee represents cost recovery only and passes on an industry rate to our members that is significantly below market.

This service is provided to all members of Actsafe Safety Association and any corporation, organization, or associations that are engaged in the production of motion pictures and performing arts in British Columbia.

WorkSafeBC regulations specify that when respirators are required the employer must provide an appropriate respirator and ensure that the worker uses an appropriate respirator in accordance with section 8.34.

To protect you, your respirator must fit properly and form a good seal on your face. A fit test is done to check that contaminated air cannot leak into your respirator and be inhaled. To ensure a good fit, nothing, including eyeglass frames, head coverings or beards, sideburns, or stubble must come between your respirator and your skin where your respirator seals with your face.

When must you do a fit test?

  • Before you use your respirator for the first time
  • At least once a year
  • If you experience physical changes, such as weight gain or loss or broken facial bones, that could affect the respirator’s fit.
To book your session, or for further information, call Reliable Mobile Hearing Testing 604 596 8414 or 604 834 8444.

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Indoor Air Quality of Hair and Makeup Trailers

Conducted by student researcher, Billy Quirke, from UBC’s School of Population and Public Health (Occupational and Environmental Hygiene stream), this project investigated indoor air quality of hair and makeup trailers in Vancouver’s Motion Picture Industry.

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Report: Wood Dust, Formaldehyde and Noise Exposures in Vancouver Film Construction Shops

Report established baseline exposure levels for noise, wood dust and formaldehyde and compared those levels with exposure limits specified in the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation. Identifies ten recommendations to improve health in film studio construction shops.

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Atmospheric Effects in the Entertainment Industry: Constituents, Exposures and Health Effects

The UBC School of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene have published this full report on the safety of theatrical smokes and fogs.

Kay Teschke, Yat Chow, Michael Brauer, Chris van Netten, Sunil Varughese, Susan Kennedy. March 2003.

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Download Table of Contents (PDF)

Download Chapters 1–6 (PDF)

Download Chapters 7–9 (PDF)

Breathe Safer

How to use respirators safely and start a respirator program.

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Dealing with Latex Allergies at Work

This booklet has three parts. The first part explains the health problems that may be caused by using such products. The second part focuses on the natural rubber latex protein allergy, which may cause severe health problems-it is essential to understand the risk factors for this allergy and how to prevent it from developing and what to do if it does develop. The third part lists other of sources of information on latex allergies.

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Evaluation of ISOBORD and MDF – Occupational Exposure

Dillon Consulting Limited (Dillon) was retained by Safety & Health in Arts Production & Entertainment (Actsafe) to evaluate the potential exposures to formaldehyde and isocyanates associated with Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) products and ISOBORD™ used to construct sets and items for film and theatre production.

The results have indicated that without the use of proper engineering controls (e.g. local exhaust ventilation) or respiratory protection, there is a potential for exposure of workers to formaldehyde-containing dust. The preliminary airborne exposure monitoring of formaldehyde on wood dust resulted in a concentration of 1.5 ppm while cutting MDF, which exceeded the Ceiling Limit of 1.0 ppm. Also, the results have indicated that the potential for overexposure of workers to formaldehyde vapour from cutting and sanding MDF is unlikely.

The results from isocyanate monitoring during cutting and sanding ISOBORD indicated that the potential exposure to methylene bisphenyl isocyanate (MDI) vapour is unlikely.

It is recommended that the potential exposure to formaldehyde from formaldehyde-containing dust be minimized by engineering controls and the use of appropriate respiratory protection. Film industry personnel working frequently with MDF should be educated and informed about the potential exposure to formaldehyde during activities which generate large amounts of dust.

Although, exposure to MDI is unlikely when cutting or sanding ISOBORD, proper engineering controls and (e.g., local exhaust ventilation) or respiratory protection are required to control for dust.

The results presented in this report does not in any way endorse one product over the other for the film industry. Both products can be used in a safe manner without exposure to harmful contaminants if adequate engineering controls and personal protective equipment are used.

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A Hantivirus Risk Control Program

Hantavirus infection is caused by a virus that is found in some rodents, especially deer mice in Canada and the United States. The virus is rarely transmitted to people, but when it is, the virus can cause severe illness — even death.

People can contract the disease when they breathe the virus that is found in the urine, saliva, or droppings of infected rodents. Hantavirus infections usually occur in rural or semirural areas where workers are more likely to contact infected rodents or their droppings. Those infected with the virus have shown flu-like symptoms that turn to a dangerous, pneumonia-like condition after two or three days.

This booklet contains guidelines for employers on preventing hantavirus infections and putting in place a risk control program to minimize potential worker exposure to hantavirus. It also contains sample work procedures that employers can adapt to their specific work situations. The guidelines and recommendations in this booklet reflect what is currently known about this disease.

Although the guidelines in this booklet apply mostly to work areas in rural or semirural areas across B.C., urban areas cannot be excluded. At any work location where rodents or rodent droppings are present, employers must consider the control measures in this document.

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HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis B and C

This booklet is for employers and workers who are not expected to come in contact with blood and body fluids at their workplaces — but who could have contact with these fluids in rare, isolated incidents that can’t be foreseen.

Blood and certain body fluids can be infected with tiny organisms that can cause disease in humans. These micro-organisms are known as bloodborne pathogens. The bloodborne pathogens of most concern are the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and the hepatitis B and C viruses. HIV causes the disease AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome), and the hepatitis B and hepatitis C viruses cause diseases with the same names. Since exposure to infected blood and certain body fluids may spread these viruses, these diseases are also called bloodborne diseases. See the box on page 8 for a list of the body fluids that may spread these viruses.

Employees who work outdoors in areas where public access can’t be controlled and inside workers who work at places frequented by the public sometimes find used needles and condoms in their work areas. These items — which could carry HIV and the hepatitis B and C viruses — are often thrown away in parks, streets, alleys, empty lots, public washrooms, and on beaches. Workers, supervisors, and employers in work settings where this could occur should read this booklet.

Most workers won’t ever contact, at work, blood and certain body fluids that can spread HIV and the hepatitis B and C viruses. But even employers and workers in settings where contact with blood and these body fluids is not expected should be aware of some basic precautions. This is because it is possible to become infected from a single exposure incident — that is, harmful contact with infected blood and body fluids. This booklet provides information on the basic precautions that should be taken in such work settings.

The first part of this booklet:

  • Describes the health effects of the diseases caused by these viruses
  • Explains how HIV and the hepatitis B and C viruses are—and are not—spread
  • Answers other common questions about these viruses and diseases

The concerns many people have about HIV/AIDS, and hepatitis B and C usually lessen when they know how the viruses causing these diseases are spread.

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Isocyanate-Containing Products (Safe Work Procedures) from IATSE 891

Safe work procedures to direct film industry personnel in the safe performance of their duties when working with isocyanate-containing products.

This document contains a guideline for minimizing exposure to other individuals in the studio or set that are not working directly with the product. A brief summary of potential routes of exposure and health hazards are outlined as a guideline on how to control the potential for exposure to isocyanate-containing products by the use of engineering controls, administrative controls and personal protective equipment. However, the best method of minimizing exposure to isocyanate products is substituting with less hazardous products.

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Artists & Communicable Diseases

Performing Artists are often involved in scenes requiring physical contact, including kissing. What are the responsibilities of artists with HIV or Hepatitis B & C in such situations? And what are employers responsible for?

These are complicated questions and answering them involves considering employment law, criminal law and privacy legislation. The following information is intended to provide a brief overview of the issues.

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Cryptococcal Disease: Questions and Answers

Three page info sheet from the BC Centre for Disease Control outlining what Cryptococcal Disease is and how it can be prevented.

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Vocal Health for Performers: Your guide to a strong, clear, easy voice

This four page infosheet, penned by Shelagh Davies, a Registered Speech-Language Pathologist with 20 years experience working with the voice and its disorders, provides information on how to maintain a strong, clear and easy voice.

Composed of two main components, the infosheet first provides information on the proper care and maintenance of your larynx, which includes keeping it properly hydrated. The second component covers earplugs.

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West Nile Virus Fact Sheet

You can contract West Nile Virus if you are bitten by an infected mosquito. West Nile disease is spread to humans and other mammals from mosquitoes that have fed on infected birds.

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