AHF: Changes to Cal/OSHA Regulations on Condoms in Porn Put Worker Protection First
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San Diego – After a delay of over five years, Cal/OSHA’s Standards Board hosted a public hearing on Thursday, May 21 at 10:00 AM in San Diego to take public comment on and evaluate proposed changes that will amend and clarify Cal/OSHA’s Bloodborne Pathogens standards with specificity to the adult film industry in order to better protect adult film workers regarding the use of condoms in all adult films shot in California. The Board heard testimony from over 30 individuals on the issue.
To be clear, condom use in adult film production in California—one of only two states in which adult film production is legal—already is required under Cal/OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens statutes; however, the adult industry has largely ignored the laws on condom use over the past decades with few legal or regulatory repercussions—including a lack of effective enforcement by Cal/OSHA.
As a result, on December 17, 2009, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) submitted a formal petition to the Cal/OSHA Standards Board to convene an advisory committee to amend the Bloodborne Pathogens Standard (CCR Title 8 §5193). In the letter, AIDS Healthcare Foundation requested that Cal/OSHA “…clarify required protections workers in the adult film industry.”
Since then—five-and-one-half years ago—at least four adult performers: Cameron Adams (2013), Joshua Rodgers (2013), Sofia Delgado (her stage name, also infected in 2013) and Derrick Burts (2010)—have each become infected with HIV while working in the adult film industry, while thousands of other adult performers became infected with thousands of other sexually-transmitted diseases.
“This is really about worker protection, and what the Cal/OSHA Standards Board is for. For the adult industry, the Bloodborne Pathogens Standard already applies; however, the proposed regulation, Section 5193.1, simply clarifies the existing Standard specifically for the adult film industry,” said Michael Weinstein, president of AIDS Healthcare Foundation.
“It is also important to note that despite claims that these amended regulations infringe upon performers’ free speech rights, both the federal court and the federal appeals court heard all the arguments, and each found that this regulation is, in fact, constitutional,” added Whitney Engeran-Cordova, senior director of AHF’s Public Health Division.