Stage Craft Safety Rules
The following should be considered as guidelines for working in the Theatre stage or construction areas. They have been written and are enforced for your safety, and as such should be followed at all times. If you have any questions regarding the safe operation of any tool or method of construction, please feel free to ask the Faculty or Staff. You are responsible to know and understand all of the following:
All persons working in theater work areas shall be properly attired. This includes long pants and closed-toe shoes. At no time will anyone wearing a dress, shorts, or sandals be allowed to work in any designated construction areas as none of these garments give sufficient protection to the wearer. Also, long hair is to be tied back to avoid any chance of getting it caught in moving machinery.
In addition to proper attire (see above) the work area is equipped with personal protective equipment. Use of such equipment is not optional and shall be used at all times when performing associated activities.
Safety glasses shall be worn when operating any power tool.
Ear protection is available to all students and staff in the shop areas at all times. It is up to the student or staff members to determine when this protection is necessary.
Gloves are available and may be worn when transporting lumber (to avoid splinters) or working with certain non-power tools. Gloves shall not be worn when using power tools such as drills, saws etc. Gloves can become quickly entangled in these tools causing very serious injuries.
Breathing protection is available on an as needed basis. It is up to the student or staff members to determine when this protection is necessary.
Brooms, dustpans, mops and other cleaning supplies are some of the most important safety devices in the theater. They shall be used correctly and often.
Every attempt should be made to keep your work area clean and organized. This means periodically sweeping up excessive waste and returning unnecessary tools to their proper places.
No soft drinks or food are permitted in any area of the theater other than designated snack areas.
Horseplay is forbidden.
No person shall work in the shops while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Prescribed drugs which could cause drowsiness, lightheadedness, or disorientation should also not be used. Any student using such prescribed medications should notify both the Faculty and Staff in charge. Any person removed from the shops for the above reason shall not be allowed to return unless authorized by the Faculty.
Any time that you have a problem with any tool or machine, bring it to the attention of the Staff so they may assist you. Never attempt to repair or adjust any machines. If a machine or tool is accidentally damaged, bring it to the attention of the Staff. Please do not try to hide or cover up any damages.
Any tool is to be used only for the purpose for which it was designed.
Defective tools must not be used. Turn them in for repair/replacement.
No Ipod type or radio/cassette/CD headphones are to be worn while in theatre and shop spaces.
At no time shall any student operate or attempt to operate ANY power tool without permission of the Technical Director or authorized faculty/staff member.
Work requiring training:
Many of the processes and systems in the theatre complex pose hazards while in use. Before students and staff are permitted to use them, they must be trained and approved by the Technical Director or appropriate supervisor of the area. These processes include but are not limited to:
Use of power tools:
Stationary Drill Press
Portable Drills and Drill Motors
Bench and portable grinders
Pneumatic-powered Nailers and Staplers
Power miter box -or- Chop Saw
Stage Rigging and Fly systems
Lighting Control Boards
Sound Control Boards
Hydraulic Lift (Genie Lift)
Some guidelines for using tools include:
Before operating make sure all wrenches, chuck keys or other foreign materials are clear of the machine's work area.
Dangling necklaces or large rings, long loose scarves or loose sleeves should not be worn in the shop as they may become entangled in moving machinery.
Inspect tools before use for any defects such as frayed wires, or damaged hand tools. Remove defective tools from service and have repaired or replaced.
Only use power tools that are properly grounded with a 3-pronged plug or that are double-insulated. A power tool with a missing grounding prong shall be considered damaged and be removed from use until repaired.
Never carry a power tool by its cord. Avoid wrapping cords too tightly around tools for storage to prevent damage to strain relief grommets.
Unplug power tools before loading them, changing blades or bits, making adjustments, or cleaning them. Follow all manufacturer's instructions for handling and adjusting.
Defective, damaged or unsafe equipment must be removed immediately from service if damage occurs or is detected.
Dull tools are unsafe and can damage operator or work. Maintain your tools and always use sharp cutting blades. If a tool seems dull report immediately to the Technical Director.
Always make sure that all power tools are turned off and the electrical power disconnected before leaving the machine. Never leave an unattended machine running, even for "one second".
NEVER ALTER OR REMOVE ANY MACHINE OR BLADE GUARDS OR DISABLE ANY SAFETY FEATURE.
IF YOU DON'T KNOW - ASK! There is no such thing as a dumb question.
Safety Rules for Lighting/Sound Areas:
Never change a lamp, repair an instrument, or work on any piece of electrical equipment while it is still plugged in.
Wear sturdy, rubber soled shoes and appropriate work clothing to all work calls.
Eating, smoking, or drinking near the light board, sound board, and lighting equipment is prohibited.
Do not work unsupervised, especially when working on the lift or on ladders. Never work alone in the theatre.
Before going up a ladder or on the lift, empty your pockets of all loose change, keys etc.
Use a wooden or fiberglass ladder, not metal, when focusing or doing any electrical work.
All adjustable (crescent) wrenches or other tools to be used must have a safety tie line attached to your body (or to the lift when working on the lift) when working over the stage or over the house.
Do not use any equipment or perform any tasks that have not been explained to you by the Technical Director or his/her designee.
At the end of each work day, all tools and materials are to be returned to their proper places and all areas left clean.
Be sure that you know the locations of all fire extinguishers and know all shut down procedures in the event of fire or other emergency.
Safety Notices and bulletins:
Safety Bulletins will be posted on the Crew bulletin board just inside the tool room.
Safety rules for the major power tools used in stage craft are posted here. NO PERSONS WILL BE ALLOWED TO OPERATE ANY POWER TOOL UNTIL TRAINED AND APPROVED BY THE TECHNICAL DIRECTOR. All required safety rules must be followed at all times.
It is the students responsibility to be aware of all safety information whether in this document, given as a separate handout or posted on the bulletin board.
No safety concern is unimportant. All personnel and students within the department are encouraged to bring such concerns to the faculty and staff, and especially to the Technical Director. In no way will doing so reflect badly on or be held against the person making the report. Rather contributing to the health and safety of all personnel is everyone's responsibility.
A theatre space, especially the stage area, is essentially a large machine for producing plays. It contains many hazards, especially to those unfamiliar with the mechanical and physical aspects of a theatre. THEREFORE:
During productions, no unauthorized personnel (i.e. anyone other than Cast and Crew) shall be allowed backstage during any performance, between call time and 15 minutes after final curtain.
No one is allowed access to the stage area unless supervisory personnel (faculty, staff, or authorized student supervisors) are present.
No one shall be permitted to work alone in the Theatre space. In case of injury or incident, there must be another present to render aid or seek assistance.
NO ONE SHALL BE PERMITTED TO OPERATE ANY POWER TOOLS IN THE SHOP SPACES UNLESS AN AUTHORIZED STAFF MEMBER IS PRESENT!
First Aid, accidents, and reporting
A First Aid kit is maintained in the tool room. This may be accessed as needed to render first aid.
This kit is intended for First Aid ONLY! Any incidents requiring first aid are to be reported IMMEDIATELY to the Technical Director if present and/or the faculty/staff members in charge of the area.
In the event of a serious or life-threatening incident, you should call 911 immediately. The Technical Director or faculty/staff members in charge should then be contacted as soon as practical. Render whatever first aid can be applied until emergency services arrive to relieve you.