Blog / News VMI London, VMEDIA & VMI Bristol now open with regular hours 1 July 2020 — by Barry Bassett VMI/VMEDIA has resumed full operations in London, VMEDIA and Bristol as of Monday 3 July with full working hours. We have implemented new comprehensive COVID-19 procedures to ensure that safety of both our staff and our clients, which have been developed with ASPEC, the association of rental companies, in their COVID 10 Point Plan. Whilst we are offering a complete service, please give VMI as much notice regarding confirmed bookings and changes to logistics to help us to make suitable arrangements. Main Guidelines Below Rental Desk London/VMEDIA: 8am – 6pmWarehouse London/VMEDIA: 7am – 7pmRental Desk Bristol: 8am – 6pmWarehouse Bristol: 8am – 6pmMinimum rental spend: £150.New working practices ensure that staff and clients are kept safe.3% of daily/weekly gross rental fee to be charged for a sanitising fee for rentals, however there will be no sanitising charge for inter ASPEC company hire.New operating processes will be in force to ensure safe working practices as per published ASPEC protocols.Drivers and Technicians wear PPE when greeting clients.No signing of documents required.QR code for visitor registration at VMI London and VMI Bristol.VMI is open for camera testing, subject to new revised procedures.Account, Advanced Payment or contactless payment facility will avoid handing credit cards.All equipment will be sanitised before shipping, as per published ASPEC protocols.Production and crew to be made aware that our drivers will not under any circumstance pick up equipment that has not come from the rental house. It could result in the driver being disciplined as it compromises health and safety and could put other staff in danger.Whilst most Rental Desk client contacts and admin staff will continue to work from home remotely.When jobs that require crew testing return to VMI they will be subject to the same protocols as VMI staff. Rental equipment is not to be subject to quarantine periods.Cases are sealed with ‘contents sanitised’ labels once sanitised, to provide a visible indication that contents are safe. Our procedures and processes will be monitored and reviewed weekly and change when conditions change, in line with Government recommendations. Phase Two We are now in our Phase Two of the COVID-19 procedures which sees crews being allowed into the rental houses but following the protocols that have been put into place. During Phase Two crew will be allowed to bring in a Preston, Follow Focus or similar. However they will have to leave them in the test room and then take them home again at night or pay the rental house to have it sanitised. COVID-19 Camera Testing Any camera tests must be confirmed and agreed in advance.Visitors to complete visitor’s book and leave contact details.Visitors to wash hands upon entering our buildings.Each Camera test room has a separate fresh air supply and an air conditioner which cools air in that room only and does not circulate with other rooms.Where help is sought from VMI technicians, then they will wear suitable PPE.Paperwork will not need to be signed upon collection, as digital images can be used to capture proof of collection. VMI COVID 19 General Risk Assessment This document is to provide clear guidance on the identified risks and preventative measures taken by VMI.TV Ltd in order to protect both its employees, their families, its clients and end users in light of the current situation with the COVID-19 outbreak. It does not, in any way, replace any government, WHO, NHE or HSE guidelines or recommendations. This document is subject to change as and when any of the above agencies change their recommendations. https://aspec.website/aspec-docs New VMI COVID 19 Procedures and Processes >Our newly designed Contents Sanitised paper labels are printed onto recycled paper (of course) to affix to the butterfly catches of cases to ensure that once gear is sanitised, it provides a visible notification to clients that the contents have been sanitised. Being made of recycled paper, they are also easy to dispose of responsibly. Our staff are being provided with custom PPE to ensure the safety and welfare of our staff. VMI is committed to the welfare of our staff and clients and will adhere to all government guidelines in this fluid situation. Our staff are using all sanitation guidelines as laid down by the healthcare professionals and we will remain fully staffed in both the rental and operations departments until and if required to shut down as ordered by the government. Our operations will work on a split shift basis to maximise social distancing and limit contact and all staff required to be Acton or Bristol will be provided with alternative means of travel to avoid public transport All external meetings will be conducted remotely. VMI has (and always has had) robust interruption of Business mechanisms in place and these will be activated accordingly and will mitigate even a long stretch of relative commercial inactivity. We wish all our staff, colleagues and particularly the freelancers of our industry safe passage to the other side of this crisis. ASPEC 10 Point Plan for safe working procedures ASPEC (Association for Studios and Production Equipment Companies), is an association which represents the largest camera, grip and lighting hire companies in the UK, seeking to ensure high standards of health & safety and support the film, commercial and television production industries, by encouraging the correct working practises in our individual member companies and have been working together in order to produce some guidelines and best-practices for us all to return to work, post- COVID-19. The member companies forming the association would be committing to opening their businesses in phased, safe, careful, cautious and responsible way, with the emphasis being uppermost on Health and Safety. The Member Companies continue to show a remarkable degree of unanimity and consensus, given that normally, they are all the fiercest of competitors. Also, there is total agreement, that morally and ethically, there should be no commercial advantage, to be made from the appalling situation, in which the industry, country and world finds itself. Phase 2: 10 Point Plan List of A.S.P.E.C. member companies:- Aardman Features Ltd, Alpha Grip, ARRI Rental, Camera Revolution, Cirro Lite (Europe) Ltd, Elstree Light & Power, Island Studios, Movietech, NBCUniversal, Outback Rigging, Panalux, Panavision, Pinewood MBS Lighting, Pixipixel, PKE Lighting, Procam Take2 Holdings, Version 2, VMI. The A.S.P.E.C Member Companies reopened their businesses, as promised and planned, from week commencing Monday 1st June 2020.Productions wishing to undertake a project, in general did contact their normal supplier.Individuals not employed by an A.S.P.E.C member company, were generally excluded from the company’s place of work. This applied to all crew, including camera, grip and lighting technicians wishing to undertake equipment testing. Over the intervening period, some companies were able to allow one or two technicians into the workplace, in order to carry out Equipment testing. However, ideally, equipment testing was arranged by the Production off-site but obviously, with the continuing support of the facilities house, while ensuring health & safety was in no way compromised.Technicians’ wholly owned equipment was still not allowed into the workplace. i.e. crew could provide their owned items of equipment. However, these items needed to be supplied at the production’s risk and were added to the equipment package at the point of delivery by the supply company or collection by the production. Items of technicians’ owned equipment continue to be excluded from any A.S.P.E.C. member company’s workplace and would not be accepted, if brought back with the main equipment package but would be placed in a holding area, at the owners’ own risk. Indeed, member companies transport, do not except any items of equipment, which were not owned and therefore, supplied by the company.All A.S.P.E.C member companies have begun levying a sanitising/disinfecting charge, as a separate line item on their invoices, for the additional costs related to the purchase of sanitising materials, extended cleaning times and the provision of personal protection equipment. However, additional items of equipment added to the original package, were still being charged at the facility house’s discretion but larger packages of Equipment, such as 2nd Units, would continue to attract a surcharge.A.S.P.E.C member companies continue to share information on sanitising/disinfecting amongst the membership and the industry at large.In line with the Government’s guidelines, the A.S.P.E.C member companies published theirindividual guidelines, policies and risk assessments on their websites.If confronted by a 2nd wave and a production needed to instigate a hiatus, any charges would continue to be at the discretion of the facilities house or studio. However, it would be hoped, that equipment could be returned to the rental houses and either taped-up or retuned to the shelf.The A.S.P.E.C member companies continue to hope, that once Phase 2 had been successfully completed, they would be in a position, to fully welcome technicians back into their facilities, in order to carry out their equipment tests. This would continue to be reviewed weekly, with any change of policy communicated without delay.However, in the future, should an easing of the situation, in respect to personally owned technicians’ equipment be accommodated, it would still need to continue to be left on site once sanitised/disinfected. If taken home at the end of the working day, as previously highlighted, the technician would have the option of paying the facilities house, to have it re-sanitised/disinfected on its return to the company’s workplace.