TARZANA, Calif. — ATK (Amateur Teen Kingdom) and AMKingdom.com owner Kim Nielsen recently agreed to pay about $8,000 in fines to Cal/OSHA for citations issued over three workplace violations, XBIZ has learned.
Nielsen told XBIZ that the fines, stemming from an anonymous tip over film shoots, were halved after he and his company agreed to incorporate a certified safety expert for all films shot by the porn studio.
In June, Cal/OSHA issued citations to ATK over failure to maintain an effective injury and illness prevention program, failure to implement an effective exposure control plan and failure to implement precautions — such as condoms — to prevent potentially infectious exposures during vaginal intercourse.
Cal/OSHA originally proposed fines totaling $16,000, but Nielsen said that he and his staff worked hurriedly, and without legal counsel, to comply with the regulator and fix deficiencies.
For Nielsen, the adventure in dealing with Cal/OSHA was a first for him, as well as his Tarzana, Calif., company.
The state occupational safety regulator first communicated with Nielsen in February with a subpoena for records extending back to 2008.
In its subpoena, Cal/OSHA demanded copies of all business licenses made in the past two years, including statements of ownership and licenses with labor boards; proof of workers comp insurance; and copies of worker safety and health programs, as well as health records and safety inspections.
The regulator also asked in its "urgent" request for all contracts and performer agreements, going back to 2008. Those records not only included all talent, but wardrobe designers, directors and producers and their assistants.
Cal/OSHA further ordered a list of all distribution and licensing deals over two years, as well as a list of all employees working at the company.
It also demanded two years' worth of records of all films and videos the studio shot, including dates of production, and records pertaining to film locations. It even ordered for all records involving camera and set equipment.
But the most burdensome of the requests, Nielsen said, was the demand for all footage from the productions.
"We had our personnel work around the clock to create a [hard drive] disc of nearly 33 terabytes of footage," said Nielsen, a 2012 XBIZ Awards recipient of the Web Industry Pioneer Award and operator of the ATK video-on-demand and DVD line, as well as ATKHairy.com, ATKGalleria.com, ATKPetites.com and ATKExotics.com.
With the experience behind him, Nielsen said that hiring a certified, specially trained safety expert went along way in settling his case with the regulator.
And he had some smart advise for those producing porn in California.
"Be proactive, and be informed of your rights," he said. "And hire a safety specialist now. It is much more than using condoms; it is about paperwork, too.
"The process is cumbersome for sure, but have your programs in place in case Cal/OSHA comes a knocking."