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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Kink.com 'Absolutely Opposed' to Strict Safety Regulations Proposed for CA Porn Performers (Updated)

Posted By on Thu, May 28, 2015 at 1:06 PM

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California's Division of Occupational Safety and Health has proposed strict new health and safety standards for porn production after five years of study and debate, the Los Angeles Daily News reports. The draft regulations, embedded below, are intended to protect porn performers from sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV and hepatitis B.

Included in the rules are guidelines for handling clothing and props that come into contact with blood or other bodily fluids and a requirement that producers pay for workers' doctor's appointments and hepatitis B vaccines. 

According to the LA Daily News, some in the industry are unhappy with the strict regulations: 
“These are regulations designed for medical settings, and are unworkable on an adult film set — or even a Hollywood film set,” Diane Duke, CEO of the Canoga Park-based Free Speech Coalition, said in a statement.
BoingBoing pointed out that one of the rules might require performers to wear protective goggles, which could work for a sexy scientist scene but might be out of place in other films:
Personal Protective Equipment.
1. Where occupational exposure remains after institution of engineering and work practice controls, the employer shall provide, at no cost to the employee, appropriate personal protective equipment such as, but not limited to, condoms, gloves for cleaning, and, if contact of the eyes with OPIM-STI is reasonably anticipated, eye protection. Personal protective equipment will be considered "appropriate" only if it prevents blood or OPIM—STI* from passing through to or reaching the employee's eyes, mouth, or other mucous membranes, or non-intact skin under normal conditions of use and for the duration of time which the protective equipment will be used.
Other rules seem like a big win for workers in the porn industry, requiring their employers to pay for medical services during working hours:
The employer shall establish, implement and maintain a system of medical services and post-exposure evaluation and follow-up for all employees who have occupational exposure. All medical services required by this section shall be provided at no cost to the employee, made available at a reasonable time and place and during the employee’s working hours, performed by or under the supervision of a PLHCP, and provided according to the requirements of this section, and the recommendations of the CDC and CDPH current at the time these evaluations and procedures take place.
San Francisco is home to a major porn producer, Kink.com, which operates out of the Armory building in the Mission. SF Weekly has reported on safety concerns by workers at Kink in the past. We reached out to Kink for comment on the new regulations, and will update this post if they respond.

UPDATE: 

Michael Stabile, a spokesperson for Kink.com, responded to our query with the following statement:
We're absolutely opposed to the new regulations proposed by Cal/OSHA. They're based in stigma and threaten to make working conditions less safe for adult performers. Because everything we do at Kink is based in consent, we can't support regulations that remove performers' control over their bodies or forces performers to disclose medical information, for instance. It's important to note that these are regulations to which performers have been vocal in their opposition, including APAC, the main performer group.... 

That said, we're not opposed to regulation itself. But they have to be workable by adult performers. They can not be hospital ward regulations grafted onto an adult film set. When we saw the proposed regulations, we came together with performers and performer groups, STI experts, civil rights organizations, and health advocacy groups like the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the Gay Men's Health Crisis to revise the proposed regulations in a way that increases performer safety, but also preserves their autonomy. Those revisions were presented at the Cal/OSHA board hearing last week, and we hope to be engaged in active conversation with them over the next few months. 
APAC is the Adult Performer Advocacy Committee.

Proposed Health and Safety Standards for Porn Shoots



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About The Author

Julia Carrie Wong

Bio:
Julia Carrie Wong's work has appeared in numerous local and national titles including 48hills, Salon, In These Times, The Nation, and The New Yorker.

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