LOS ANGELES — The Cal/OSHA Division announced today that it will discontinue the rulemaking process for workplace safety regulations specific to the adult entertainment industry, and focus instead on interpretation, education and outreach. In making the decision, Cal/OSHA drew on the success of the industry’s current safeguards, the non-employee status of adult film performers, and the uniqueness of the industry.
Rather than prioritize barrier protection like condoms and goggles, Cal/OSHA will instead focus on a “hierarchy of controls,” a national occupational safety protocol that stresses elimination and isolation of hazards over “personal protective equipment.”
Cal/OSHA will update language on its website to help clarify workplace issues and their relationship to existing OSHA regulations. While the language and guidelines are still in process, the site lists condoms and gloves as one of a number of possible workplace controls, including testing and ejaculation outside the body, that could prevent exposure.
“We thank Cal/OSHA for bringing adult performers and other stakeholders into the discussion during this long process, and are eager to work with them to determine how to best interpret existing guidelines,” said Eric Paul Leue, Executive Director of the Free Speech Coalition. “I think Cal/OSHA realized that simplistic solutions and one-size-fits-all regulations do not work in an industry that is as diverse, entrepreneurial and safe as adult entertainment.”
Under the industry’s PASS protocol, adult performers are tested every fourteen days for a full slate of STIs, and there has not been a transmission of HIV on a PASS-compliant adult set since 2004.
In 2016, Cal/OSHA Standards Board declined to adopt industry-specific regulation which would have mandated condoms, goggles and dental dams.
Cal/OSHA is now emphasizing that adult performers and producers do not necessarily have an employee/employer relationship, which may give adult workers more freedom in how they perform their jobs. Adult performers have long maintained that they are contractors, not employees, and thus deserve more flexibility and control over their bodies.
“Regulation 5193 was designed for medical settings, and no one would confuse an adult set with an emergency room.” said Leue. “The decision not to write specific regulations, but instead focus on the hierarchy of controls speaks to the efficacy of our current safeguards, and the need for flexibility. Now begins the process of working with Cal/OSHA collaboratively to find effective solutions.”