Health and Safety Policy

400dpiLogoSt Philips Dramatic Society

Health and Safety Policy

All people working with and on behalf of St Philips Dramatic Society (known as The Cliffites) shall at all times be responsible for ensuring they maintain best practice to maintain the safety of themselves, audiences, passers-by and other members of the Society.  This will be achieved by the use of:

  • Documented policies
  • Monitoring and Review
  • Risk Assessments
  • Following best known practice for all aspects of work undertaken

St Philips Dramatic Society is an amateur dramatic society based in Birchencliffe, Huddersfield, UK. This Safety Policy refers to all Society members.

Lead Responsibility for this policy

  • For each event undertaken by the Society an experienced member of the team will be agreed in advance as the lead person.
  • For the purposes of this policy, it is their responsibility to ensure compliance to the policies by all members of the lighting and sound crew.
  • Wherever possible this will normally be in conjunction with The Cliffites designated Stage Manager who will have overall responsibility for safety.It is noted, however, that there is not always a Stage Manager in attendance, in which case responsibility falls to the designated Leader.

Management Control Systems

These are normally by verbal discussion and instruction. Written instruction is given where deemed necessary by the lead person responsible for any event.

Health Surveillance.

It is the responsibility of each individual to make known to the lead person any medical condition that may affect his or her ability to work within the Safety Policy.

Stage Crew and Cast responsibilities

Within the Society it is generally acknowledged that there is a Stage Crew, responsible for Scenery, Lighting, Sound, Props; and a Cast who are the performers. This safety policy relates equally to Stage Crew and Cast, implying that a high degree of co-operation is needed from both groups at all times.

  • During performances, no member of the cast is allowed on stage unless the Stage Manager has agreed that it is safe for them to be there.
  • All members of the Stage crew must follow the instructions of the Stage Manager during performances.

Risk Management

  • Risk is managed by the use of best practice and procedures documented by nominated member(s) of the Society.
  • Prior to each event, a briefing session is held by the Lead Person to ensure that all people (covered by this policy) taking part in the event are aware of how the work will be carried out and any unusual risks.
  • Diagrams, plans, and a list of tasks with designated owners may supplement this briefing.
  • During the event, if any unsafe practices are observed, the Lead Person will call a halt to activities until the problem is resolved.

Risk Assessments

  • Prior to each event, a Risk Assessment will be carried out to see if there are any unusual aspects to the event.
  • If an existing or generic Risk Assessment does not already cover the event, a separate assessment will be undertaken by the Lead Person and the new or unusual risks will be documented, typically covering:
  1. The task
  2. Hazards
  3. Persons exposed to the risk
  4. Control Measures
  5. Risk Rating
  6. Further Controls and Extra Safety Procedures
  7. Informing the designated First Aider of any extra risk.
  • Risk Assessments will be filed with The Cliffites Secretary and be available for inspection by any appropriate Authority.

Policy Monitoring and Review

  • Following every event, an informal review is undertaken by the members involved to ensure that all policies were met.
  • This Policy will be reviewed annually by the Committee.

Fire Safety

  • All local fire safety instructions will be followed.
  • In the event of a Risk Assessment pointing to the need for additional fire equipment or special instruction, this will be provided prior to any activity or event being undertaken.
  • At each event a person will be designated as Fire Steward with the role of enabling cast and audience to evacuate the building safely.
  • He/She will check that Fire Extinguishers and Blankets are in the correct place and Fire Doors and Exits operating correctly. A Fire Drill will form part of the rehearsal schedule to ensure all the cast know how to leave the premises quickly and safely.
  • The Fire Steward will be provided with a whistle.

First Aid

  • Wherever possible an event team will include a qualified First Aider taken from the list held by the Secretary. This is a mandatory requirement where more than 50 people will be involved.
  • They will have access to a suitable first aid kit and are responsible for checking that it is adequate and authorised to purchase any necessary materials or replacements.
  • They need to have a mobile phone.
  • They will check Risk Assessment forms to ensure there is no added risk.
  • In the event of a Risk Assessment pointing to the need for additional first aid equipment or special instruction, this will be provided prior to any activity or event being undertaken.

Accident Reporting

All local procedures for Accident reporting will be followed by all members of the team, depending upon the location of the event being undertaken. An Accident Book is kept at Birchencliffe Community Centre for the use of hall users.


All Lead Persons must have a working knowledge of the requirements brought about by Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) and bear these in mind whilst completing risk assessments. In the event of a Risk Assessment pointing to the need for additional precautions or special instruction relating to COSHH, this will be provided prior to any activity or event being undertaken.

Work Equipment

All equipment used including lights, cables, sound systems, trussing, rigging tools, mounting brackets and similar will be in good order and condition. Any discrepancies must be notified to the lead person for action as necessary.

Manual Handling

All team members must have a working knowledge of good manual handling procedures. Protective clothing such as gloves, boots, hats will be worn by all people if deemed necessary by the lead person.

Working at Heights

Where there is activity being undertaken above head height, appropriate safety measures will be deployed. Generic risk assessments are in place for various types of working at heights.

General Accident Prevention

The policy of the Society is to prevent accidents. It is therefore essential that people under its guidance:

  • Must not work on equipment without authority
  • Must not fail to warn others of danger
  • Must not leave equipment in a dangerous condition
  • Must not use defective equipment
  • Must not use the wrong type of, or inappropriate, equipment
  • Must lift loads in the correct manner and with the appropriate number of people
  • Must ensure that no unauthorised servicing of equipment is undertaken by incompetent people
  • Must not abuse alcohol or drugs

Lighting specific instructions

Whenever lights are being hung from brackets or ceiling mountings, the lighting crew will ensure that:

  • The light is in good condition
  • The mounting brackets are secure and that adequate sized bolts are used
  • A secondary mounting point is used to attach a safety chain
  • All cables are in good condition and adequately secured to appropriate mounting points
  • All adapters will be in good condition and inspected for electrical and mechanical faults prior to use.

Electrical Power safety

  • All power rating will be calculated to ensure that no lighting channel, overall power supply or plug rating is overloaded.
  • All cables will be adequately rated to ensure that they can take the power.

Sound Specific Instructions

The sound crew will ensure that :

  • Speakers and cables are in good condition.
  • The mounting brackets for speakers are secure and that adequate sized bolts are used.
  • A secondary mounting point is used to attach a safety chain.
  • All microphones and cables are in good condition and adequately secured to appropriate mounting points.

Cast and Crew Instructions.

At rehearsals and performances:

  • All cast will sign in when they arrive and put their name in the Fire Steward’s Book.
  • All cast will sign out when they leave.
  • The stage crew and sound and lighting crew will also sign in
  • Front of House crew and all other helpers will sign in using the Fire Steward’s Book and sign out as they leave.
  • Chaperones of the dancers will sign in themselves, using the Fire Steward’s Book and furnish the Fire Steward with a list of names of children present on the night.

Updated April 2018