Essential COVID Compliance Officers for Events and Productions

Chicago-based Complete Crewing, your trusted and experienced event-staffing agency, has added a new and essential position to our safety and production crew offerings: certified COVID Compliance Officers (CCO).  CCOs present on production sites are responsible for overseeing all COVID-19 safety protocols.  These officers serve as a liaison between the heads of individual crew departments, the production facility, and the Health Department.  All of Complete Crewing’s labor coordinators are trained as compliance officers, in addition to being OSHA-30 certified.  

As this is a new position for a new environment, we wanted to take the time to explain our CCO’s responsibilities.  Whether Complete Crewing provides only the CCO or an entire highly skilled crew, we want to give everyone we work with the confidence that all health protocols are being followed, and assure all location and facility managers that they can feel safe holding meetings, events, and productions of all types.  

Each CCO provides a daily written report for every job site with details on safety guideline compliance.  Here is an excerpt from a report of a recent Complete Crewing job in Chicago:

“Arrived on site just before 7am.  Processed facility staff arrivals as workplace safety signage was being set in strategic locations throughout the venue. The majority of the crew arrived at 8am.  There were no red flags from self-certification questionnaires, nor were any temperatures taken outside of the normal range.  All crew entering wore masks and remained socially distant while awaiting check in.  Upon entry, they were given a wrist band to indicate they had been screened, as well as a personal bottle of hand sanitizer.  The facility placed ample sanitation stations throughout the building. The restroom facilities had adequate soap in the dispensers.  Catering was provided as individually packaged items.”

In addition to monitoring screening practices and reviewing the facility, the CCO will:

  • Ensure that the staff at a site falls within the limits established by state and city guidelines
  • Provide his or her contact information to all event attendees and post important information and safety guidance throughout the venue
  • Manage and coordinate information from department heads in the event of a post-event positive COVID result
  • Confirm that quarantine rules are followed by all who worked within 6 feet of each other, in the event of a positive result
  • Follow-up with the Health Department in the event of a positive result
  • Ensure the privacy of all collected information and questionnaire responses

The safety of our crews, all attendees, and our communities is a top priority for Complete Crewing.  Our crew coordinators have a long history of excellence and consistently provide service above and beyond what was requested.  We know how important safety is! We have the skills needed to prioritize safety  in this new environment even while working with multiple crews, shifts, and schedules.  We are always up to date on local, state, and national recommendations and regulations, and are dedicated to providing the best service  for any event.  

Please review this post for more information on our safety protocol guidelines, and contact us with any questions.  The Complete Crewing team is equipped and prepared to help get the Chicagoland area back to work!

labor day

Happy Labor Day From Complete Crewing

Since 1887, the labor movement has been celebrated for their contributions to the social and economic prosperity of America through the observance of Labor Day.  Complete Crewing is proud to be affiliated with such a movement and we take great efforts to support the goals of all our clients and workers alike.

Over the years, I have had many starts and stops along my career path.  Having been a Teamster driving a Coca-Cola truck, a fork lift operator in a printing press ,a fiberglass race car fabricator, to working in offices and ultra luxury hotels and resorts; one thing stands out to be abundantly clear.  Taking care of each other, working together, pulling on the same end of their proverbial rope, always, always allows you to reach your goals and the goals of those around you with greater success.  No one can go it alone and collectively we are stronger together.

So as we celebrate the National Holiday, let’s think about who we are as a country, who we want to be, and how we all can get there together.  Rising tides lift all boats after all, so please recognize the movement that made the country an economy powerhouse and thank someone who builds homes, digs tunnels, delivers packages, teaches our children, or keep us safe, for they deserve our gratitude and respect.

For more information about the history of Labor Day, please visit https://www.dol.gov/general/laborday/history

redalert

Office Lit In Red For #RedAlertRESTART

On September 1st we joined our colleagues and friends in solidarity by lightning up our office in red to raise public awareness of the impact of COVID on the live events industry for #RedAlertRESTART.

Contact Congress today to support the RESTART Act, a bill that will assist hundreds of thousands of industry service workers impacted by the pandemic. Click here to find your local government’s official page.

covid 19 protocol

Safety Protocol Guidelines During Covid-19

Complete Crewing’s full-time, onsite crew coordinators have undergone Covid-19 Compliance Officer Training in order to provide guidance and assistance in maintaining standards for a safe production worksite.

screening survey

  • Crew members will be required to file a Covid-19 screening survey prior to accepting a work call.stay home
  • Crew members who are feeling ill prior to any work call will be required to stay home.

avoid travel

  • Crew members are encouraged to avoid travel on public transportation and use own vehicle when possible.

temperature

  • If the venue or production does not conduct temperature screening as a requirement for entry, crew members will have their temperature taken at the start of every shift prior to being granted entry. Crew will be sent home if they are experiencing a temperature of 100.4 or greater. Periodic temperature checks will be made.

covid compliance

  • Productions should have a designated Covid-19 Compliance Officer. The name and contact information for that person should be clearly posted at the employee check-in area. Complete Crewing has trained personnel that can be hired to perform this function if the production does not have someone.

social distance

  • Productions should designate specific & separate entrances and exits during set up and strike days when working crews will be largest. Non-essential visitors should be discouraged. Anyone entering worksite must be screened and have a temperature check.

ppe

  • Complete Crewing will provide PPE for its contracted crews to include masks, hand sanitizer and gloves. Crew members will always be required to wear masks while on show site.

disposal of ppe

  • Crew will be instructed on proper handling, use and disposal of PPE provided by Complete Crewing for their personal use.

wash hands

  • Crew should wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use of hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available. Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.six feet
  • Crews will be instructed to maintain 6-feet of distance between themselves and talent whenever possible and avoid physical contact. Personnel with duties requiring close contact will be outfitted with additional PPE deemed necessary.

consistent teams

  • When performing physically demanding tasks that require close contact, extra efforts should be made to assign consistent teams of workers to those tasks.

stagger breaks

  • Attempt to stagger breaks when possible. It is safest to keep the crew onsite and provide catering. Covid-19 catering guidelines should be applied. Break areas should allow for social distancing. If no catering available, crew should be notified in advance and encouraged to bring meals and beverages from home.

disinfect tools

  • If crew needs to use tools that are not their own, or if they share tools, they should be disinfected before and after use. Crew members should also wash or disinfect their hands before and after.

assign items

  • Every effort should be made to assign items to specific crew members. They should be sanitized before use, periodically throughout the shift and prior to storage at end of shift.

disinfectant materials

  • While disinfectant materials should be provided by the equipment vendor,
    Complete Crewing will have a limited amount at site as back-up. Complete Crewing will have adequate PPE for its’ contracted crew members to use while sanitizing gear.

Helping Events Reopen Safely in Illinois and Nationwide

As states and cities take steps to open businesses, and face-to-face meetings grow closer to returning, Complete Crewing is poised to resume providing our high level, complete staffing solutions for production and AV companies.  We have spent the last three months sharpening our tools and making sure that our crews can operate safely in this new landscape.  We are familiar with local and national operating guidelines, and will be taking every step to ensure the safety of our labor and production crews, and our clients.  

Supporting Events in Chicago and Nationwide

Our entire staff of OSHA-30 certified labor coordinators are trained and ready to get back to business.  When you partner with us, and trust us to hire and manage the A-list crew your event deserves, we become the employer of record.  As such, we have protocols in place to  follow health authority guidelines and ensure the proper use of all the personal protective equipment (PPE) that staff need to protect themselves.  So go ahead and check “crew safety planning” off of your to-do list.  Complete Crewing is ready to streamline the process, making sure that your event is flawless, memorable, and safe.

Reopening Resources

While we are based in Chicago, for over twenty years we’ve provided production labor services for events from Los Angeles, CA, to Boston, MA.  No matter where you want your event, or how many cities and venues you need, we can guarantee skilled staff that come with excellent client feedback.

There is a lot of information out there and it continues to change.  We’ve gathered a few resources that we think do a good job at helping businesses understand what they need to know to operate in this new landscape.  We will continue monitoring all resources, to best position our company and to best help you.

Call and speak with a labor coordinator to learn more at 773-645-2000.

Event Safety Alliance

The ESA released “The Event Safety Alliance Reopening Guide,” which is available for free.  The guide provides advice for event planners and venues on how to safely resume operations.  It calls for everyone to follow health authorities such as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), and shares suggestions for everyone’s consideration.

Restore Illinois

As of June 2020, Illinois is in Phase 4: Recovery.  Under the guidelines, the following industries are able to reopen:

  • Meetings & Social Events
  • Indoor & Outdoor Recreation
  • Indoor & Outdoor Dining
  • Museums
  • Zoos
  • Theaters & Performing Arts
  • Youth & Recreational Sports Guidelines
  • Film Production
  • Manufacturing
  • Offices
  • Retail
  • Service Counters
  • Health & Fitness Centers
  • Personal Care Services
  • Day Camps

All businesses should follow the guidelines found in the Business Toolkit.

City of Chicago

Here are the Industry Guidelines for Reopening for Chicago. You can find Chicago’s current phase, the criteria for transitioning between phases, and specific safety guidelines.

McCormick Place

McCormick Place is one of the premier event centers in Chicago.  They are working closely with public health officials and following all recommendations and best practices to keep the campus safe.  Here are links to their Events Calendar and cleaning protocol.

Navy Pier

Scheduled for a phased reopening beginning June 10th, Navy Pier gives locals and tourists alike a beautiful view of the skyline while offering fun, family friendly dining, shopping, and entertainment options. Safety measures are in place to welcome visitors. For more information please see these links: 

Navy Pier Cleaning Protocol and PPE Requirements

Navy Pier Phased Reopening Plan

Welcome Back

We’ve been the authority on event labor staffing for years and you can rely on our experience to make your events safer, smoother, and highly successful.   Let us do what we excel at, so that you can focus where you excel.  Contact us today and let us know how we can help.  We’re happy to be able to say, Welcome Back.

Coronavirus Message from Complete Crewing

Like the rest of the world, Complete Crewing is watching COVID-19 news closely. We know that it feels like everything is changing, and in the worst way. Schools and businesses are closed. Grocery stores and flights are empty. Things are tough.

But one thing doesn’t have to change. Our ability to help each other.

We’ve heard stories of people offering to grocery shop for elderly neighbors, and of teachers, retired and active, providing resources for homeschooling as parents tackle that for the first time. Then there’s the story of the NBA players making donations to help arena workers who suddenly find themselves out of work.

We’re all in this together. Yeah, life is nuts right now, but we’re stronger when we find ways, big and small, to help each other. So, this is us reaching out. What do you need? We’re not going anywhere, and we’re ready and waiting to rally teams of technical and production crews around the Nation to help you pivot during this time and keep your business running.

Check out this insightful article from Socialmediatoday.com about shifting to virtual events and tips to help you through this time.

If you need help moving meetings en masse to virtual platforms, we’re here. Our teams of technical staff are ready to assist with:

  • Installations of video conferencing equipment
  • Building sets for professional virtual presentations
  • Operation of camera and audio equipment to ensure a high quality virtual experience
  • And any other way that we can bring in our expertise to support you

When we eventually make it through this Pandemic, we’ll be ready to hit the ground running, just like we always are, and we want you right there with us. We’ll know that we forged new bonds of partnership and family because we didn’t go it alone, but had each other’s backs the whole way.

That’s our COVID-19 update. We’re here and we’re ready to be there for you. Stay safe and let us know how we can help. We can’t wait to get back to doing what we love! Until then, take care of yourself and be kind to one another.

The Importance of Exceeding Expectations

One of my favorite things to do in an interview is to ask candidates to describe a time that they exceeded the expectations of a client or co-worker.  No matter what role they play in the labor and production services, their answer always gives great insight into how they view their roles in an organization, and if they are thoughtful, hospitable people focused on building great relationships.

Expectations in the meetings and events industry are high, and it isn’t enough for us to just do our jobs at a high level.  We need to show that we share in our clients’ goals and give people memorable experiences of going above and beyond. The ways that we do this will differ from client to client, and moment to moment, but looking for those ways should never stop.  Whether we are supporting AV labor, production crewing, or another role, exceeding expectations should become a habit, something that we all strive to pursue in our daily lives. The more we make it a foundational part of our work ethic, the more we will achieve.  As the famous quote says:

“Watch your thoughts for they become words.

Watch your words for they become actions.

Watch your actions for they become habits.

Watch your habits for they become your character.

And watch your character for it becomes your destiny.

What we think, we become.”   

The quote has been ascribed to everyone from Mahatma Gandhi to Margaret Thatcher.  We may not know who initially said it, but it points to a powerful truth. Our thoughts and our words are more than thoughts and words.  They become who we really are. A person who constantly tries to exceed expectations, someone who looks outside of what their job description is to do something helpful, surprising, or caring, is a person with the type of character that I want around me, in my personal life and in my business.

So, how exactly do you make this a habit?  We have to start with identifying and managing expectations.

Identifying Expectations 

If we don’t know what someone wants us to achieve, there is no way we can deliver more.  Ask specific questions to determine what your client or co-workers need from you, and what they expect to receive.  If you’ve been given a written list of expectations that’s a great place to start, but don’t leave it at that. Stated expectations and actual expectations aren’t always the same thing.  We all have different ways of interpreting words, and no one wants to fall short because they didn’t double-check on the specifics.

Managing Expectations

Once you’re in the habit of identifying expectations, make sure it becomes second nature to manage them.  None of us have superhuman powers, and trying to exceed expectations doesn’t mean that you take it all on, piling up tasks until you collapse.  That’s not going to help you or anyone on your team. Practice good communication so that everyone around you knows what is expected and how to prioritize.  You want to create a work environment that bolsters people’s ability to go above and beyond, not one that sets them up to fail.

Exceeding Expectations

The time to start exceeding expectations is once you know that you and everyone on your team are ready to get to work with realistic, well-communicated goals.  Now is the time to make your clients’ or co-workers’ goals your own, and set out to complete every task with an eye on exceeding expectations. As you do so, you’ll soon discover that you are growing a reputation based on trust, hard work, and excellence.

Before long, you’ll see that your reputation isn’t confined to work events.  Every time you seemingly go out of your way to help a co-worker, or anyone you encounter throughout your day, you are growing your exceeds-expectations-character.  As you define and develop these skills, people will take notice. Your value will grow and you’ll become a desirable person to work with. This isn’t always easy – everyone who works in AV and production has stories of needing to pull off near miracles – but it’s an important way to make a difference.  If it’s not something that you’ve focused on before, make today the first day you try, and don’t ever look back.  

The 7 Questions to Ask for an Outstanding Event

While there are no official numbers, we can safely assume that millions of people attend hundreds of thousands of events a year.  This includes business events like conventions, trade shows, and conferences; and pure entertainment events like concerts. The one thing all these millions of people have in common is that none of them want to host or attend a mediocre event.  So how do you make sure that your event stands out from the thousands of others planned every year?

To really have an event that shines, you need to ask yourself quality questions, and dig deep into the details as you answer each and every one.  The details make an event, and keeping these essential questions in mind as you plan will ensure your guests leave longing for your next event.

  1. What are the goals of your event?

Don’t over-complicate your planning by having too many goals.  Your event should have one or two high-level goals, max. These goals are the foundation of your event, and everything that you plan should in some way support this foundation.  Do you want to increase sales of a new product? Do you want to become known for always gathering the top innovators of your industry?

Identify your “Why”, and communicate it to everyone. Be sure it follows the SMART guidelines: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound.

  1. What is unique about this event?

Your event needs to stand out in some way if you want to draw attendees in, especially new attendees.  This can be anything from the layout of your networking center, to the speakers you’ve hired, or the food you’ve prepared.  People nowadays are on the lookout for events that double as experiences, use this to your advantage.

  1. Who are you targeting?

Who specifically is your audience for this event: people in your industry, young professionals, retirees, people who like to travel…?  Identifying your target population will allow you to more easily plan the proper marketing and the most engaging event.

  1. When is the best time for the event?

Will your event fit the schedule of your target audience to attract the most attendees? Will your event draw the most people in if it is all-day?  Should it start in the morning, or is evening better? Do you need outdoor space? If so, you’ll want to consider the weather and the time of year.  Also ask yourself – what are my plans for inclement weather? Will you cancel or reschedule? Or does the event continue rain or shine?

  1. Where will the event be held?  

Consider the nature of your event and determine what type of space will be best.  An auditorium? A park? A restaurant? Do you need multiple rooms with audio visual or recording systems?  Do you need a networking space or a dining hall? 

Once again, factor in the weather if you’ll be outside.  Do you need tents set up? What about bathrooms? Never forget the all about transportation question.  You want it to be as easy as possible for attendees to get to your event. If you think most people will be driving, do you have a good parking plan?  Remember: you want guests to arrive excited and happy, not frustrated.  

  1. How will you engage people during and after the event?

Attendees can be your biggest promoters.  You want to make sure that they not only talk about how much fun they are having while at your event, but that they also remember you after the event has ended.  Here are a few ideas to consider:

  • Live stream certain events to engage people who couldn’t make it
  • Make it easy for attendees to connect on social media
  • Offer specific incentives for people who attended the event
  • Have a plan in place for how you will follow-up with attendees before the event ever starts 
  1. What services will you need?

Be detailed in the partnerships you will need to achieve your goals and make your event the smoothest, and most engaging any attendee has ever experienced.  Do you need a caterer? Are you worried about food sensitivities or food allergies? Do you need a videographer or a sound system? What is your plan for registration?  Don’t leave anything to chance and be sure you have attention-to-detail people on your team who will double and triple check that everything is accounted for.  

No matter what kind of event you are planning, it’s crucial that you use these questions to think through not only your desired outcome, but every eventuality.  If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out at any time. As the experts in event production and stage staffing, our experienced team can eliminate the stress and confusion from staffing any event, and ensure absolute success every time.

Returning from the 2019 Event Safety Alliance Summit in Lititz

Returning from the 2019 Event Safety Alliance Summit in Lititz, PA our team has refocused our efforts on maintaining the reputation for safety that Complete Crewing has been known for in the Chicago production and events market.  John Doyle, one of the industry pioneers in Chicago event staging has come back focused on polishing our internal SEE program (Safety in Events and Entertainment). Eric “Sluggo” Eaton came back to the office on a mission to find any PPE or First Aid Kits that were expired.

With the end of the year upon us, I suggest this is a good time to verify all of your safety gear is checked. Don’t forget that most rigging harnesses are only good for 5 years and need to be checked for wear or damage at every use. We not only do a check on these pieces before each use, but they also get another thorough inspection at our office every 6 months.  Also, remember your First Aid Kits have a shelf life of 3-5 years but should be checked regularly to ensure all contents are up to date and replenished. Replace anything that looks like it has been wet or damaged in any way. Consider any bottle of partially used ointment as contaminated and throw it away. Even Hard Hats have a shelf life.  If your hat is 10 years old and brittle, replace it, no matter how comfortable it is or how cool the stickers are!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another take away from the Event Safety Conference is the fact that no matter where you are, you should have an escape plan. Sometimes a plan is taken for granted when you or your audio visual labor and production crews have worked in a facility many times, but it is always a good idea to brief the team on the location of the fire extinguishers and emergency exits.  

With all the safety plans in place, checklists complete, and equipment inspected, the most important part of the topic of safety is not putting yourself in a dangerous situation in the first place.  Having situational awareness and being at the top of your game by getting quality sleep, properly fueling and hydrating your body, and keeping a positive attitude will keep you focused and ready to respond to changing conditions. 

Complete Crewing “SEE” Safety Awareness Training Program

Accidents happen.  They can be small (spilling wine over your new carpet) or big (leaving a forklift parked on a dock plate), but they do happen.  They don’t have to happen though, and it’s up to each one of us in the AV labor and production world to minimize both the occurrence, and the level of catastrophe. A live event often has as many elements as a construction project. If you aren’t constantly on your A-game, accidents can happen.  This is why it is paramount to develop a corporate culture of safety and maintain safe work practices in order to protect our crew and our clients.  Everyone we work with is family, and we don’t want anything bad happening to family.

So, what are we doing about it?  We’re glad you asked.  Complete Crewing already works to maintain and adhere to OSHA protocols. We are an ETCP (Entertainment Technician Certification Program) recognized employer and an affiliated supporter of the Event Safety Alliance (ESA). Through our participation in these programs we reinforce our commitment to provide safe working conditions and awareness within our workforce.  We love those programs and we’ve learned a lot from them.  Now we want to take our proactive measures farther.  

We’re excited to announce the creation of our SEE (Safety in Events and Entertainment) Safety Awareness Training Program.

Why SEE?  Because, the best way to create a safe workplace is to prepare all event crews to “SEE” potential safety risks and correct them before any incident occurs – and that’s exactly what we are setting out to do.  We’re developing SEE to aid our managers and employees in providing the safest workplace possible for everyone: crews and co-workers, clients, and event attendees.  

Our new program has three parts:

1-Complete Crewing’s OSHA 10 Outreach Training

2-ESA’s Event Safety Access Training (ESAT)

3-Newly created Complete Crewing Safety Awareness Modules

SEE starts with a mandatory 10-hour OSHA outreach training for all our job site coordinators as a foundation.  While OSHA mandates some parts of the curriculum, it also allows for tailoring.  We’ve worked with the Health & Safety Institute, our online learning partner, to design our online OSHA 10 training to align with the OSHA 10 Outreach Curriculum used by major trade unions and professional associations in the event and entertainment industries, like IBEW, IATSE, Chicago Projectionists, and Chicago Stagehands. Our elective modules deal with important topics like Scaffolding and Mobile/Powered Work Platforms, Electrical Safety, and Fall Protection.

Next, our supervisors complete ESA’s Event Safety Access Training to supplement the program and cover any material that those working in an event environment need to know.  ESAT course units cover Event Injury Hazards and Controls, Personal Protective Equipment, and other important health and safety concepts.

Finally, we’ve created several original modules to further enhance safety awareness.  We’ve used our extensive experience in the production and events industry to provide the information we see as being most beneficial in helping our crews minimize safety risks to themselves and others.  For example, one of our modules covers Ergonomics, Material Handling, & Safe Loading.  No matter your role in the industry, one or more of these topics matters to you and your health.  

As we continue developing and strengthening our program, we look forward to attending this year’s annual Event Safety Summit, hosted by the ESA.  Our affiliation with ESA has contributed greatly to our SEE program, and we know this year’s event will be incredibly valuable for all attendees, and us, as it is every year.  The 2019 Summit features nearly 30 presentations and workshops, along with networking opportunities that explore how each individual’s safety responsibilities influence an event’s overall environment.  We’re excited to have our team attend a wide variety of presentations and incorporate what we learn into further development of our SEE program.  

We encourage you to take a look, and send someone from your company to benefit from this worthwhile event.

Bottom line: safety awareness requires the commitment of us all.  When it comes to taking care of yourself and creating a safe working environment, we’ve got your back.