HEALTH AND SAFETY GENERAL POLICY STATEMENT
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 Committee has spent time writing this guide to help us all observe proper procedures in health and safety. We all have a duty to try to avoid accidents, so please take some time to read this policy.
This policy will be checked regularly to make sure that our health and safety objectives are achieved and maintained.
APPOINTMENT, AUTHORITY AND TRAINING OF SAFETY PERSONNEL
The Athenaeum Masqueraders (The Masqueraders) will appoint a member of the Management Committee 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.
The Masqueraders members 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. The H&S Officer or a deputy will be present at every Masqueraders event, and members must abide by any instructions given by that person. In rare cases, the committee may require a member to withdraw from rehearsals or performances or other Masqueraders activities.
We ask that members provide us with any information that they feel may be relevant to the health and safety of themselves or others. For example the H&S Officer or any other committee member should be made aware of any disability, illness or pregnancy (this information will be treated as confidential unless indicated otherwise by the member).
No alcohol may be consumed during any rehearsal, backstage or on stage. The Athenaeum Centre (and any other building) that The Masqueraders use for rehearsals and performances have no smoking policies that must be followed.
The Masqueraders defines a child as a person aged from 5 to 16 years of age. No child under 5 take will take part in The Masqueraders' activities. The committee appoints a specific person to oversee children in accordance with the Masqueraders Child Protection Policy. The Child Protection Officer is responsible for telling children about our H&S procedures. Adult members are reminded of the need to exercise special care and attention when performing with children. The Masqueraders uses a sign-in and sign-out register for its performance venue. 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.
The H&S Officer (or in their absence the a member of the production team) 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. Members 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.
Members must know the location of all the fire extinguishers, the fire exits and the assembly point(s). Members must obey fire drill instructions. Members 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 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 will inform the cast and back stage crew of all safety matters that need to be notified to them.
All members are asked to keep their dressing room tidy. The Wardrobe manager will supervise the storage of costume packing cases. If there is a fault with the fallback speakers tell the stage manager so it can be dealt with by Theatre staff.
ON-STAGE AND IN THE WINGS
The Stage Manager is responsible for The Masqueraders stage crew. The H&S Officer 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 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.
The Masqueraders recognises that the stage and its wings can be hazard areas. The H&S Officer 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 members 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.
FRONT OF HOUSE
Either the Producer or Director (Front of House Manager) will manage The Masqueraders 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 MTS front of house team will follow instructions given by the Theatre staff, and will report to the MTS Front of House Manager at the assembly point.
SCENERY / PROPS / WARDROBE WORKSHOP AND STORE
Some members are asked to work with The Masqueraders scenery, props and costumes. No unauthorised members of the society should enter the lock up, since there is an increased risk of accident in this area.
SAFE SYSTEMS OF WORKING
The committee is aware that members are often working under pressure and time restraints to put on a production.
Members should rest regularly. If an unsafe system of working has been identified or an incident has occurred, the H&S Officer investigates the cause(s), reports to the committee, and institutes procedures to minimise the risk of it occurring again.
ACCIDENT BOOK & RECORDS
The Masqueraders keeps records and uses an Accident Book to record all incidents, however trivial, that happen during Masqueraders events. Performance venues may also record all incidents. Each book is maintained and stored by The Athenaeum Centre Trust.
All electrical equipment owned by The Masqueraders is subject to annual inspection and testing by a competent authority. At the conclusion of each inspection and test the equipment is then labelled 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 the committee.
LADDERS, SCAFFOLDING AND TALLESCOPES
Some of The Masqueraders members will be required to work with working at height equipment. The Masqueraders are aware that one of the major causes of injury is falls from height. Only members who have been authorised by the H&S Officer or the committee may use this type of equipment.
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.