Health & Safety Policy

Health and Safety Policy: Davenham Players Theatre

Statement of Intent 

All people working with, and on behalf of, Davenham Players Theatre shall, at all times, be responsible for ensuring they maintain best practice to maintain the safety of themselves, audiences, passers-by and other members of Davenham Players Theatre.

This will be achieved by the use of:

  • Documented policies
  • Monitoring and Review
  • Risk Assessments
  • Following best known practice for the work undertaken

This Health and Safety Policy refers to all Davenham Players Theatre members.

Lead Responsibility for this policy 

  • For each production or group activity undertaken by Davenham Players Theatre an experienced member of the production team will be agreed in advance as the lead person.
  • For the purposes of this policy, it is their responsibility to ensure compliance with the policy by all members, including members of the lighting and sound crew.
  • Wherever possible this will be in conjunction with the designated Stage Manager who will have overall responsibility for safety during production preparation, rehearsals and performances.

Controls and Instructions 

These are normally by verbal discussion and instruction. Written instruction is given where deemed necessary by the lead person responsible for any production.

Health Issues 

It is the responsibility of each individual to make known to the lead person any medical condition that may affect his or her ability to work within the Health and Safety Policy.

Stage Crew and Cast responsibilities 

Within Davenham Players Theatre it is generally acknowledged that there is a Stage Crew -responsible for Scenery, Lighting, Sound, Props etc and a Cast who are the performers. This health and safety policy relates equally to Stage Crew and Cast, requiring a high degree of co-operation from both groups at all times.

  • During performances, no member of the Cast is allowed on stage unless the Stage Manager has agreed that it is safe for them to be there.
  • All members of the Stage Crew must follow the instructions of the Stage Manager during performances.

Risk Management 

  • Risk is managed by the use of best practice and procedures.
  • Prior to each production, a briefing will be given by the Lead Person to ensure that all people taking part in the production are aware of how the work will be carried out and any unusual risks.
  • Diagrams, plans, and a list of tasks with designated owners may supplement this briefing.
  • During the production, if any unsafe practices are observed, the Lead Person will call a halt to activities until the problem is resolved.

Risk Assessments 

  • Prior to each production, a Risk Assessment will be carried out to identify any unusual aspects to the production or group activity.
  • If an existing or generic Risk Assessment does not already cover the production, a separate assessment will be undertaken by the Lead Person and the new or unusual risks will be documented, typically covering:
  1. The task
  2. Hazards
  3. Persons exposed to the risk
  4. Control Measures
  5. Risk Rating Low/Medium/High
  6. Further Controls and Extra Safety Procedures
  7. Informing the designated First Aider of any extra risk.

Risk Assessments will be filed in the Davenham Players Theatre administration area and be available for inspection by any appropriate Authority.

Policy Monitoring and Review 

  • Following every production, an informal review will be undertaken by the Cast, Stage Crew, Lighting and Sound Crews to ensure that all policies were met and identify any concerns.
  • The Stage Manager will raise any concerns with the Production Team, having first agreed any corrective actions that need immediate implementation.
  • This Policy will be reviewed annually by the Davenham Players Theatre committee.

Fire Safety 

  • All fire safety procedure instructions will be followed.
  • In the production of a Risk Assessment pointing to the need for additional fire equipment or special instruction, this will be provided prior to any activity or production being undertaken.
  • The Stage Manager or group leader will be responsible for Fire Safety at the production venue.
  • A Fire Drill will form part of the rehearsal schedule to ensure all the cast and crew know how to leave the premises quickly and safely.

First Aid 

  • Wherever possible the production team will include a qualified First Aider.
  • A stocked first aid kit will be available at the production and rehearsal venue.
  • A mobile phone will be available during rehearsals and productions.
  • If a Risk Assessment indicates the need for additional first aid equipment or special instruction, this will be provided prior to any activity or production being undertaken.

Accident Reporting

  • An Accident Book will be held by the Stage Manager and will be available for each production.
  • In the event of an accident, the Stage Manager, or in his/her absence, the lead person should be advised and will update the book accordingly.

COSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health) 

  • If the production of a Risk Assessment indicates the need for additional precautions or special instruction relating to COSHH, this will be provided prior to any activity or production being undertaken.

Work Equipment 

  • All equipment used including lights, cables, sound systems, trussing, rigging tools, mounting brackets and similar will be in good order and condition. Any discrepancies must be notified to the stage manager or lead person for action as necessary.

Manual Handling 

All team members must have a working knowledge of good manual handling procedures. Protective clothing such as gloves, boots, hats will be worn by all people if deemed necessary by the Stage Manager/ lead person. The Stage Manager will provide advice on lifting upon request.

Working at Heights 

  • Where there is activity being undertaken above head height, appropriate safety measures will be deployed.
  • Generic risk assessments are in place for various types of working at heights. General Accident Prevention The policy of Davenham Players Theatre is to make every effort to avoid production accidents.

It is therefore essential that people under its guidance: 

  • Must not work on equipment without authority
  • Must not fail to warn others of danger
  • Must not leave equipment in a dangerous condition
  • Must not use defective equipment
  • Must not use the wrong type of, or inappropriate, equipment
  • Must lift loads in the correct manner and with the appropriate number of people.
  • Must not abuse alcohol or drugs.

Lighting Specific Instructions 

Whenever lanterns are being hung from brackets or ceiling mountings, the lighting crew will ensure that:-

  • the lantern is in good condition
  • the mounting brackets are secure and adequate sized bolts are used
  • a secondary mounting point is used to attach a safety chain
  • all cables are in good condition and adequately secured to appropriate mounting point
  • all adapters will be in good condition and inspected for electrical and mechanical faults prior to use.

Electrical Power Safety

  • All power rating will be calculated to ensure that no lighting channel, overall power supply or plug rating is overloaded.
  • These will be documented as part of a rigging plan.
  • All cables will be adequately rated to ensure that they can take the power.

Sound Specific Instructions

The sound crew will ensure that:-

  • speakers and cables are in good condition
  • the mounting brackets for speakers are secure
  • all microphones and cables are in good condition and adequately secured when appropriate.

Cast and Crew Instructions 

An attendance register will be available for group activities, rehearsals and performances at the production venue:

  • All cast, stage crew, sound and lighting crew and other helpers must sign in when they arrive and out when they leave.
  • Chaperones will sign in themselves, and provide a list of names of children present for the performance.
  • Chaperones and children will be advised of “house rules” and will be notified of areas that are out of bounds.

Date of publication: November 2022

Date for review:        November 2023