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Health and Safety Policy

General statement of intent

People are the most important asset to this society. We are therefore committed to doing everything that is reasonably practicable to ensure the health, safety and welfare of our members, visitors, helpers and our audiences from personal injury and foreseeable risk and to prevent damage to property. 
We ask our members to always consider the health and safety of themselves our members and others affected by their actions when representing and attending Parish Players. 
We will aim to monitor and review processes in an aim to continually improve the culture and management of health and safety within our society.

Parish Players intentions are to endeavour to  

  • Provide adequate control of the hazards and limit the risks arising from our society activities and theatrical productions as far as is reasonable.  

  • Consult with our members on matters affecting their health and safety. 

  • Provide a safe and healthy place to carry out its activities

  • Provide and maintain safe systems of work and equipment

  • Ensure safe handling and use of any hazardous substances

  • To provide adequate information, supervision, training and instruction as necessary

  • To provide a safe environment for audience members and visitors that attend productions 

  • Review and revise this policy at regular intervals and as necessary to comply with regulations and changing circumstances.

The committee has adopted this Health and Safety policy in order to help members keep to a minimum any risk to themselves or others. It is intended as a statement of best practice and neither Parish Players nor the committee accept any liability for inadvertent failure by any member to comply with this policy.

Date: 13th March 2023
Review date: March 2024

 

Responsibilities

Overall responsibility for health and safety within our society rests with the entire membership.

The committee will discuss any risks or areas of concern which they perceive or which are highlighted to them and will review the policy regularly in light of any changes to our activities or regulations.  Health and safety will be a regular item on the agenda for committee meetings and the AGM.

There is a duty on all members of Parish Players

  • To cooperate on matters of health and safety matters

  • To take reasonable care for health and safety of themselves and other people who may be affected by their actions

  • To report all health and safety concerns to any member of the committee

  • Not to interfere with or misuse anything provided for health and safety purposes

  • Use protective clothing and equipment where it is provided

  • To correctly use any items provided and not to use equipment unless they have been trained

  • Report all accidents, injuries or near misses to a member of the committee as soon as possible

  • Report any property damage to a member of the committee as a matter of urgency.  The PP committee will then report to the Church Hall management committee, as appropriate.

Blatant disregard for health and safety rules and procedures by members will be taken very seriously and be assessed by the committee.   The committee reserves the right to exclude such members from The Society if deemed appropriate.

Arrangements

Venues

Parish players hire venues for its activities and do not own any premises. 

Risk Assessment

Risk assessments will be carried out to cover activities undertaken by Parish Players which have the potential to present a risk to members or anyone directly/indirectly involved such as audience members, other hall users.

The risk assessment process involves identifying significant hazards involved in our activities; deciding who might be harmed and how; evaluating the level of risk by assessing current mitigations and deciding whether additional mitigation is required; record the findings and review regularly or when things change. 

Prior to commencement of a new activity (production etc), the committee and those involved in leading the activity will aim to identify whether there are any additional hazards for this event.  Any new or unusual risks not covered by existing risk assessments should be recorded, assessed and any additional mitigations disseminated to all members involved in the production.

Risk assessments will be kept electronically by a designated member of the committee and hard copies kept in the Production File.

Production file

The society operates a documented health and safety production file with provision by our health and safety consultants, NODA SAFE, who are competent advisers on all aspects of health and safety. They can be contacted at any time for advice on 0845 257 6632 or via email at nodasafe@noda.org.uk

 

Emergency Procedures – Fire and evacuation

Responsibility for ensuring that a fire risk assessment and emergency plan for the venue is in place rests with the owners of the venue, which is the St Mary’s Merton Church Hall Committee for our usual venue.   A[MOU1]  copy of this assessment, and any changes to emergency procedures is requested by the Parish Players Committee at the beginning of each society year (September).

Evacuation procedure is discussed with new members during their induction to the society and through provision of written guidelines to all members at the beginning of the society year.

If an evacuation of the premises is required during rehearsals or performance, all persons present on the premises should leave the building in an orderly manner as quickly as possible by the nearest fire exit and assemble in the hall car park. 

In the event of an emergency, the person(s) responsible for roll call and giving any necessary information to the fire officer are:

  • During a rehearsal or other member focused activity -  the director or designated individual in charge of the event. 

  • During a performance-  the stage manager.

During performances where the general public are admitted, there must be an adequate Front of House (FOH) team who are trained in the evacuation procedures. There must be at least 3 members of the FOH team on duty at each performance (two of whom should be situated inside the main hall). The FOH team should be trained prior to each run of a production.

Safety should always be considered seriously.  A fire should not normally be tackled.  Evacuating the premises is the first priority.  Fire risk assessment and fire equipment (e.g. fire extinguishers) is maintained by the church hall management committee (not PP).

All emergency exits routes must be checked prior to all performances to ensure the escape routes are clear and doors and gates to assembly point are unlocked.  Responsibility for the check having been carried out, prior to audience being admitted, rests with the designated individual for a production The FOH team are responsible for ensuring the escape routes are kept clear once the audience are admitted. [MOU2] 

Accidents

PP aim to prevent accidents so far as is reasonably practicable, therefore members should always consider the following:

  • Must warn others of any danger

  • Must not leave equipment/ areas in dangerous condition

  • Must not use defective equipment

  • Should lift loads in the correct manner and with appropriate help

  • Must not use equipment unless they have been trained to do so

An accident book is provided at our usual venue by the church hall management committee.  This should be completed for all accidents occurring on the church hall premises.

Any accidents and property damage, or near misses which could have resulted in these, should be reported to a committee member as a matter of urgency.

Investigations will be undertaken according to the seriousness of the incident.  Minor incidents which do not result in any time lost from a production or in anyone associated with the incident being taken to hospital, do not require an in-depth investigation after the accident book has been completed.  More serious incidents will require a more in-depth investigation to be undertaken.

The steps to undertake following an accident are:

  • Care for the injured person, including contacting the emergency services where necessary

  • Control of the accident scene if it is safe to do so

  • Investigate promptly and undertake improvement actions where necessary

 

First Aid

A first aid box is provided at our usual venue by the church hall management committee and its location is clearly signed within the hall. 

Safe use of Equipment and materials

All equipment owned by PP, including hand/power tools, lights, lighting desks, sound systems, ladders should be maintained in good order and condition such that it does not present a risk to health and safety.  All members of PP should be responsible in use of equipment and not attempt to operate that which they do not know how to use

All portable electrical equipment belonging to PP will be tested by a qualified electrician annually.  Records pertaining to all maintenance will be kept by the committee.  PP are not responsible for formal maintenance of equipment not under their ownership.

All equipment (whether owned by PP or not) should be visually inspected by members prior to use

Any unsafe equipment should be taken out of use for disposal or repair and a member of the committee notified immediately.

Adequate instruction and supervision should be given to inexperienced members when undertaking tasks involving an element of risk.  Power tools must not be used by those under the age of 18 without adequate supervision.

Members must take responsibility for checking that new production materials and equipment meet health and safety standards before purchase.

Working at height

Work from ladders and stepladders should be light duty and of short duration.  Ladders/stepladders should be inspected prior to use to ensure they are not defective and are adequate for the proposed purpose. 

People should not undertake ladder work alone, and should have a work partner securing the ladder on the ground.  When any overhead work is in progress, the person responsible for the work must ensure that all persons are clear from the area underneath the work in progress.

When hanging lights, the crew should ensure that battens, brackets, and any mountings are secure prior to hanging lights.

Stage

The stage area should always be kept as clean and tidy as possible and exits from the stage should always be maintained free from obstruction.

Care should be taken when moving/ handling sets/properties/ equipment etc.  Manual handling should only be carried out after careful consideration of the task and the individuals available.

Members should not consume any alcohol whilst on duty during a performance (e.g. cast, backstage team, or FOH team).  Where a script calls for the use of alcohol, it should be substituted with suitable non-alcoholic drinks.[MOU3] 

Safe handling and use of potentially hazardous substances

The society will assess and control health risks from exposure to hazardous substances. Only approved products will be used in our productions.

Consultation with the membership

The society will consult with its members in accordance with our commitment to the safe running of our activities. 

 

Monitoring

Monitoring will be ongoing throughout the society sessions. 

Pre-production checks will be undertaken to ensure the production conditions are as required and that safe working practices are being adhered to. 

Feedback is readily received by the committee, director or stage manager from society members or others affected by our activities to help monitor health and safety and ensure continuous improvement.

 

Statement

The committee has adopted this Health and Safety policy in order to help members keep to a minimum any risk to themselves or others. It is intended as a statement of best practice and neither Parish Players nor the committee accept any liability for inadvertent failure by any member to comply with this policy.

 

Definitions and Abbreviations

PP: Parish Players

The Society: Refers to the Parish Players Amateur Dramatics Society

Society year: For the purposes of this document the society year is deemed to run from September to August.

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