Working in the theatre can be dangerous, as you are frequently working with electrical equipment, at height, and with heavy set pieces, fixtures, speakers etc. It is incredibly important to properly consider all hazards involved in your production, and ensure any and all risks are minimised and prepared for.
OUTTS stocks safety equipment, including steel-capped boots, hard hats and stage weights. Some of this equipment is mandatory on larger shows, for example at the Oxford Playhouse. This is available for free (subject to a small deposit) to all student shows. See our hires page for more details on how to book it.
Any production you are putting on should have a risk assessment, which is usually compiled by either the production manager or producer. When writing the risk assessment you will need to consider every aspect of your production and everything that will happen, and whether and how someone could be hurt. This includes thinking about the consequences of things going wrong, or someone behaving inappropriately while carrying out a task. You then need to go through each of these risks and work out how you can minimise the chance of this happening, and what needs to be done to ensure everyone is safe. When doing this you need to ensure you consider the safety of all members of your team, your audience and anyone else in contact with the production, from early meetings and rehearsals, to any trailer shoots or building you might do, through the get in, technical rehearsals and the shows themselves, until you have completely vacated the venue and the production is over.
Compiling the risk assessment should not be taken lightly; it is vital in ensuring the safety of everyone involved in your production, and you must ensure that all safety precautions which arise from it are actually implemented. The risk assessment should be a living document which you review regularly throughout the production, to ensure it is up to date and constantly being considered. It should be available to, and brought to the attention of, every member of the team so they are aware of the dangers present and how to minimise the risk of anyone coming to harm.
To ensure that you think through your entire production properly, and to avoid missing out anything you should always begin each risk assessment fresh, rather than asking for an example or old risk assessments from anyone else. For that reason, we will not provide a full example for you here, but below we do give a template from which you may choose to work. A (highly spurious) example hazard is provided to help you understand how to use the template. If you have a template you prefer or are asked by a venue to use a specific template, you should stick to that.
Before any production takes place please ensure you have also read the TAFF Code of Conduct on Safety Matters, and any health & safety information provided by your venue.