Article provided by Institution of Occupational Safety and Health

A new safety guide has been launched for theatre industry workers involved in designing, manufacturing and using machinery on theatrical sets.

The seven-part online guide – the first of its kind in the industry – has been created by experts from the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH).

It can be used by anyone involved in this area, including technical managers and designers, construction, production and stage managers, and producers. It covers each stage of a theatrical set, from its concept and design to sign off and use.

The guide was the brainchild of Hayley Seddon, a Committee Member of IOSH’s Theatre Advisory Group.

“Working with machinery presents a variety of safety risks which are faced by many in the theatre industry yet, up until now, there hasn’t been any guidance on how to manage these risks,” Seddon said. “Our new guide really fills a gap in this market. Across the theatre industry we see some fantastic sets. Our guide is designed to be a simple, step-by-step guide which will help people ensure that people don’t come to harm when creating these.”

The areas covered by the new guide are concept (design interpretation); design (white model to final design); manufacturing; commissioning, inspection and safety sign off; testing (technical rehearsal through to press night); final sign off and handover; and its use.

It guides users through best practice and principles of good health and safety risk management, to ensure sets are fit for purpose and safe for use.

“As health and safety professionals, our role is not about stopping people from doing this,” Seddon added. “Quite the opposite, we are enablers. We want to ensure incredible and imaginative theatrical sets can be created. Our guide will help this happen.”

The document doesn’t replace regulations, directives, approved codes of practice or standards, but can be followed alongside them.

More information on the guide can be found here.

The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) is the world’s leading chartered professional body for people responsible for safety and health in the workplace. with more than 47,000 members in more than 130 countries.

IOSH acts as a champion, adviser, advocate and trainer for safety and health professionals working in organizations of all sizes. Its focus is to support its members in their efforts to create workplaces that are safer, healthier and more sustainable.