Health and safety Policy
Fixation Theatre aims to ensure, as far as reasonably practical, the health, safety and welfare of all its members and others, including members of the public, who may be affected by its activities.
Live performance is exciting and fun, but can also be stressful and dangerous. Even the most experienced person can make mistakes, especially when in unfamiliar surroundings. The guide below will help us all observe proper procedures in health and safety. We all have a duty to try to avoid accidents.
1. APPOINTMENT, AUTHORITY AND TRAINING OF SAFETY PERSONNEL
Laura Davitt is trained in Health and Safety.
Fixation Theatre Company (FTC) has appointed Laura Davitt as its H&S Officer. The H&S Officer will keep an overall watch on the policies set out below, and will help us to maintain proper standards.
FTCs freelancers will help the H&S Officer as the need arises. Those helpers may receive special instructions or training, and may deputise for the H&S Officer.
We ask that freelancers provide us with any information that they feel may be relevant to the health and safety of themselves or others. For example FTC should be made aware of any disability, illness or pregnancy (this information will be treated as confidential unless indicated otherwise by the member). The opportunity to do so is in the employment contract.
Due to the nature of some productions, especially when a historical context is relevant, glasses or other aids may require special consideration. A member should raise any special requirements with the director of the show.
2.2 Alcohol and Smoking
No alcohol may be consumed during any session, rehearsal, backstage or on stage. All buildings that FTC uses for rehearsals and performances have no smoking policies that must be followed.
FTC defines a child as a person aged from 3 to 18 years of age. No child under 3 take will take part in FTC activities.
Adult members are reminded of the need to exercise special care and attention when performing with children, these will have a DBS check.
4. SIGN-IN SIGN-OUT
FTC uses a register to sign-in participants this is the responsibility of the freelance of the particular session or the director of the show. Each member is required to sign-in and sign-out. Sub-contractors, such as lighting, sound personnel etc. are also asked to sign-in and sign-out.
5. REHEARSAL REQUIREMENTS
The Director or Facilitator is responsible for checking that props and staging are safe. Members must work safely with props, and refuse to use any that are, in their reasonable opinion, unsafe.
In particular performers are forbidden to stand on makeshift rostra such as plastic nesting chairs or fold-up tables.
Performers are asked to attend rehearsals wearing suitable loose fitting clothing and footwear that is nonslip.
For some productions all or some of the cast will be required to wear special footwear such as tap shoes. In these circumstances special footwear should only be worn when required.
Performers must know the location of all the fire extinguishers, the fire exits and the assembly point(s).
Performers must obey fire drill instructions. Freelancers are asked not to park in front of fire exits or place any obstruction in front of fire exits, outside or inside the building.
In the case of emergencies, everyone will follow instructions given by the H&S Officer or deputy, and will report to the H&S Officer or deputy at the assembly point.
The H&S Officer or deputy will liaise with theatre staff, in particular the Theatre Technicians, to agree the responsibility for safety in the theatre and to identify any particular hazardous areas or situations that need to be addressed.
The H&S Officer or deputy will inform the cast and back stage crew of all safety matters that need to be notified to them.
6. DRESSING ROOMS
All performers are asked to keep their dressing room tidy.
Children and adults are to have separate changing areas.
Males and Females must also have separate changing areas. Which are staffed by the same sex.
7. ON-STAGE AND IN THE WINGS
The Stage Manager is responsible for FTC stage crew. The H&S Officer or deputy will inform them of the relevant procedures.
They must wear the appropriate personal protective equipment and use appropriate tools for the task(s) being carried out.
The H&S Officer or deputy is responsible for checking that the Stage Manger and stage crew liaise with the Theatre staff.
Any special arrangements will be written down as amendments to these procedures for use in any specific circumstances.
FTC recognises that the stage and its wings can be hazard areas. The H&S Officer or deputy will ensure a risk assessment is undertaken of the activities and situations that present themselves or could present themselves in the areas concerned.
Where the theatre has carried out its own risk assessment, then the H&S Officer liaises closely with the theatre.
All performers attending a performance venue for the first time will be given a tour of the building.
In the case if emergencies, cast and crew will follow instructions given by the Theatre staff, and will report to the Stage Manager at the assembly point.
8. FRONT OF HOUSE
The FTC Front of House Manager manages the FTC front of house team and liaises with the theatre staff so that each has identified themselves to each other and each party has understood the respective roles of the parties concerned.
The Front of House Manager will meet with the Theatre House Manager prior to first night.
In the case of emergencies, the FTC front of house team will follow instructions given by the Theatre staff, and will report to the FTC Front of House Manager at the assembly point.
9. SCENERY / PROPS / WARDROBE WORKSHOP AND STORE
Some performers are asked to work with FTC’s scenery, props and costumes. No unauthorised performer should enter the lock up, since there is an increased risk of accident in this area.
10. SAFE SYSTEMS OF WORKING
FTC is aware that performers are often working under pressure and time restraints to put on a production.
Performers should rest regularly.
If an unsafe system of working has been identified or an incident has occurred, the H&S Officer or deputy investigates the cause(s), reports to the committee, and institutes procedures to minimise the risk of it occurring again.
11. ACCIDENT BOOK & RECORDS
FTC keeps records and uses an Accident Book to record all incidents, however trivial, that happen during FTC events. Performance venues may also record all incidents.
Each book is maintained and stored by the H&S Officer or a deputy when not in use. The H&S Officer or a deputy records the details of any incident that requires first aid, however trivial, in the accident book.
12. ELECTRICAL SAFETY
All electrical equipment owned or used by FTC is subject to annual inspection and testing by a competent authority. At the conclusion of each inspection and test the equipment is then labeled to show its inspected status.
Any equipment that fails to pass the inspection will be removed and quarantined to prevent use.
Equipment will be stored and maintained in a safe working condition between inspections.
Any person who wants to use his or her own electrical equipment must seek prior approval from the H&S Officer or deputy.
13. LADDERS, SCAFFOLDING AND TALLESCOPES
Some of FTC’s members will be required to work with working at height equipment. FTC is aware that one of the major causes of injury is falls from height. Only performers who have been authorised by the H&S Officer or deputy may use this type of equipment.
14. USING SUB-CONTRACTORS
The H&S Officer will inform all contractors of the relevant procedures set out in this manual. Contractors are instructed to work in accordance with this manual and any relevant Health and Safety Executive’s Information Sheets.
This policy will be regularly monitored by the Committee of the Society and will be subject to regular review.
Fixation Theatre Company Health and Safety policy summary:
– to provide adequate control of the health and safety risks arises from our activities
– to consult with members on matters affecting their health and safety
– to provide and maintain safe plant and equipment
– to ensure safe handling and use of substances
– to provide suitable information, instruction and supervision for members
– to ensure that members are competent to carry out tasks associated with our activities and to give them adequate training
– to prevent accidents and ill-health resulting from our activities
– to maintain safe and healthy conditions for our activities
– to review and revise this policy as necessary at regular intervals
Date: 26th September 2019
Date to be reviewed: 31st August 2020