Health & Safety

Health & Safety

Nothing is more important than making sure everyone goes home safe from the theatre. Effective safety management is largely about applying things we already know and generally do in a systematic way. Our festival Guidance Note and its accompanying Safety Plan (part of the combined Festival form), is used at all SCDA festival performances and technical rehearsals.

Roles & Responsibilities

Everyone taking part in a festival has a duty to look after his/her own safety and that of others. No-one should follow an instruction if there is any question about it. If in doubt, stop and ask the Stage Manager or Festival Stage Director.  H&S stoppages carry no time penalty in setting and striking

Three individuals have specific additional responsibilities for maintaining safety:

Stage Manager

The SM of a performing club has primary responsibility for ensuring its members behave safely. The SM must carry-out a risk assessment, identify appropriate controls and submit a Safety Plan prior to the festival. The SM must ensure everyone in the club understands the contents of the Safety Plan and supervise its implementation.

Festival Stage Director

The FSD is appointed by SCDA, and must agree each club’s Safety Plan and has the right to impose additional safety measures if considered appropriate. The FSD will give a safety briefing and monitor the behaviour of the club members against their Safety Plan and can stop a rehearsal or performance at any time if people are at risk. The FSD will ensure everyone involved in the festival understands the theatre’s safety rules. The FSD must also record and report any safety-related incidents or near misses at SCDA events to the Organising Committee in writing.

Authorised Electrical Person

The AEP has responsibility for electrical safety. The AEP must check and be satisfied with any electrical connections or electrical equipment used on or backstage. Normally the AEP will be employed by the venue. Where this role is performed by a club or SCDA member, the individual must be able to demonstrate his/her competence.

Firearms and replica Firearms on Stage

All Producers/Directors and Stage Managers should be aware of the relevant guidance if their production involves a weapon or replica weapon.  It does not apparently apply to plastic toy guns.  The quote below from “Management of firearms and other weapons in productions” will cover most amateur situations, but you should be conversant with the whole document which you can

Replica (props) and deactivated weapons
Props and deactivated weapons should not be capable of discharging a projectile but could still inflict bodily harm if used to hit someone. However, the main hazards are theft or loss, public distress, breach of the peace or if the police respond to an apparent emergency. The police must therefore be informed.

  • The producer must ensure that the security arrangements for storage and transportation are adequate, in other words:
    there is a dedicated and named person responsible for the security of the weapon at all times (including the collection, storage, transportation and safe return);
  • the named person will accompany the weapon if it is to be moved, for example a courier cannot collect it on behalf of the production;
  • when not in use, the deactivated weapon is locked in a secure case, which is stored in a locked room with restricted access.