Health and Safety Software for Theatres
Theatres often have an interesting mix of issues to consider from a health and safety viewpoint. There are concerns about working at height for stage preparation, manual handling of equipment for the stage and behind the scenes equipment as well as the usual concerns for businesses with visitors. That’s why specialist health and safety software for theatres is important to help manage the risks.
The main risks
As with other types of business, the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 is the one that governs health and safety issues and how they are handled. This places duties on employers, employees, self-employed people within the business and also those who control the premises. The two main issues within a theatre from an H&S perspective are working at height and manual handling.
Working at height
Under the HSE, there is a hierarchy for selecting the equipment used to work at height to ensure people are as safe as possible. For example, autofocus or bounce focus lights should be used or brought to ground level for work rather than working at height. There should also be fall mitigation equipment such as airbags, nets and even inertia reed harnesses.
The other main issues are the manual handling in theatres, especially for travelling shows. Awkward shaped, heavy and difficult items have to be moved, often in confined spaces, up and down stairs and with time pressures. This kind of accident accounts for almost a third of those reported each year and there can be long-term injuries.
Managing health and safety risks
The key for the owner or operator of the theatre is that steps are taken to manage health and safety risks and minimize them as much as possible. It is also important to document steps taken so that if something does go wrong, it can be shown what was done to prevent it or reduce the chance of a recurrence.
Health and safety software is key in organising this risk assessment and other processes. For starters, once a risk assessment has been completed it can be kept within the software. This creates a history of what risks have been highlighted and what steps are taken to reduce them. It can also handle accident reporting and investigations if something does go wrong to ensure that all required steps are taken, and lessons learned.
Employers have to protect their employees and reduce the risk as much as possible. There is also a requirement for staff training where applicable to help with this risk reduction. Once the training has taken place, the H&S software can record what was done, when and automatically register when an update to the training is required.
It can also be used to schedule training courses as well as tutors and venues as well as product reports for all the needs of staff training requirements. This ensures that the business completes requirements and takes steps to protect staff while complying with regulatory issues in this key area.