Live performance is exciting and fun but can also be stressful and dangerous. Even the most experienced person can make mistakes in familiar surroundings. This policy is to help us all observe proper procedures in Health and Safety and to remind us that we all have a duty to look after ourselves and others to minimise risk.
New Era Players Committee is responsible for Health and Safety in the theatre and for ensuring that this policy is monitored. Members should inform the Committee of any issues and request help as the need arises. It may be necessary to put in place special training or produce special instructions in certain circumstances. The NEP Committee will delegate powers to directors and stage managers for each production and all members must abide by any instructions given to them by those people. In rare cases, the person responsible for H+S may require a member to withdraw from rehearsals or performances.
We ask that members provide us with any information that they feel may be relevant to the health and safety of themselves or others. (i.e they should make directors and/or stage managers aware of any disability or illness so that extra care can be taken – this will be treated as confidential)
All new members will be given a tour of the building and have Health and Safety procedures pointed out to them. This will be conducted by a member of the Committee or the director/organizer of the current event as close as possible to the new member joining.
Alcohol and Smoking
No alcohol may be consumed during any rehearsal or performance, backstage or onstage, unless for a special celebration. All areas within the theatre have a no smoking policy; there are designated smoking areas outside. Members who are under 18 must not be allowed to consume alcohol.
For membership reasons, NEP defines children as being between the ages of 5 and 16. Full membership is granted to anyone who is over 16. Any children or young people under 18 taking part in productions are covered by the NEP Safeguarding Policy.
Sign IN / Sign Out
NEP uses a signing in register for its performances for both cast and crew. Front of House also informs the Stage Manager of the numbers of people in an audience each night, to comply with fire evacuation procedures.
Rehearsal and Performance
The Director and Stage Manager will liaise with the cast and crew to agree the safety in the theatre for each production and to identify any particular hazardous areas, substances or situations that need to be addressed. The Stage Manager will inform the cast and crew of all safety matters that need to be notified to them.
The Director and Stage Manager are responsible for checking that props and scenery are safe and that cast and crew are not expected to take unnecessary risks. Members should work safely with props and can refuse to work with any that they feel are unsafe.
A risk assessment and any special arrangements for use in specific circumstances will be recorded in writing.
During a performance the Stage Manager is responsible for the safe running of the show.
All members should hang up costumes and keep the dressing rooms tidy to minimise the risk of trip hazards.
Front of House and Drinks
The NEP Front of House person and Drinks Servers will operate in accordance with the procedures laid down.
Building / Making Scenery Props and Wardrobe
Members who work on these areas should use the correct equipment and tools and use these safely.
Members should be mindful of safe systems of working including the correct use of step ladders (refer to guidelines on notice board and in props desk drawer) and take regular rest breaks. If an unsafe system of working has been identified or an incident has occurred, the member should report to the Committee who should institute procedures to minimise the risk of it occurring again.
When lone working is necessary in the theatre, Members are advised to let someone know they will be working in the theatre alone and have a mobile phone accessible at all times in case of emergency.
All electrical equipment in the theatre is subject to regular inspection and testing by a competent authority. Any equipment that fails should be removed.
Members will adhere to the fire safety policy and follow the NEP Fire Safety Procedures which outline evacuation and assembly points. Members should know the location of fire extinguishers, the fire exits and assembly point. In the case of emergency, all members should follow the instructions given by the person in charge.
A First Aid Box is located at the bottom of the stairs and contains the basic regulation requirements.
This policy should be read in conjunction with the following relevant documents which are available on request:
- Insurance Policy
- Fire Risk Assessment
- Safeguarding Policy
- FOH and Drinks procedures
- Stage Manager and Director Guidelines
- Additional guidance on Fire and Personal Safety