Free Speech Coalition Drafts Performer-Safety Plan

CANOGA PARK, Calif. — Calling it a "preemptive move," the Free Speech Coalition has created a best-practices plan for the control of bloodborne pathogens on the porn set.

A draft of the plan, which was published today on the adult industry trade group’s website, was initiated earlier this year, prior to news in June that an adult industry performer was found to be HIV-positive.

News of the infected performer brought pressure from not only state occupational safety regulators, but from groups like the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which is lobbying to make porn shoots condom-only in the state.

“We were getting this industry-appropriate plan together well before the news of Patient Zero broke,” FSC Executive Director Diane Duke told XBIZ. “Many facets of the plan are already practiced by the studios.”

The FSC’s bloodborne pathogen exposure control plan would be voluntary for the studios, but Duke said she hopes that the majority in California would make the plan’s standard operating procedures available for performers and stage hands.

“The point is to minimize performers’ risk to what goes on at the set,” Duke said. “A lot of what the plan offers is common sense, and it helps assist with the compliance of the Cal/OSHA standard for bloodborne pathogens.”

The plan’s contents are comprehensive for worker safety and address numerous practices over everything from controlling waste to housekeeping to the cleaning of sex toys. It also addresses training, as well as pre- and post-scene evaluation, and makes examination recommendations for new-to-the-industry performers.

Duke said dozens of adult companies had input in the draft, as well as key industry professionals, including Sharon Mitchell of AIM Healthcare Foundation, Derek Hay of LA Direct Models and LATATA, John Stagliano of Evil Angel and Steven Scarborough of Hothouse.

Industry attorneys Paul Cambria and Jeffrey Douglas and attorney and OSHA specialist Karen Tynan also contributed to the effort.

Duke said that she plans to bring the plan to legislators and Cal/OSHA in January after the Las Vegas trade shows culminate. She said that it’s better for the adult industry to regulate itself rather than state officials.

“Right now, Cal/OSHA is regulating industries the same way they regulate clinics,” she said. “When it comes to our industry, there are things that they don’t even think about, and when you mention it to them, they are ready to turn purple.

“The people at Cal/OSHA and AHF think that the industry as a whole don’t care about the performers,” she said. “That’s simply wrong. The industry deeply cares about them.

"Bringing the plan to Cal/OSHA will provide them with the bloodborne pathogen practices for adult production companies — practices that are not only appropriate for the industry, but also highly effective.”

The FSC is encouraging adult entertainment producers and directors for their input on the plan and has created a dedicated page for it here.