Play It Safe: Introduction (02:37)
Stage managers, designers, crew members, actors, and directors can benefit from learning about the hazards of working in a theater, including smoke, machinery, chemicals, cleaning solvents, and paint. This episode is divided into six parts.
Part One: Basic Safety Regulations (09:07)
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) established regulations requiring emergency action plans, accident reporting, health and safety committees, and safe tool and chemical use. Employers must have a formal training program to protect employees against hazardous chemicals. Arthur Wagner suggests employees take quizzes to be kept on file as a backup.
Part Two: General Safety Practices: Fires (15:29)
OSHA mandates written plans of how theaters deal with emergencies. When calling in an emergency provide your name, building number, nature of the issue, and a phone number. Do not cover or lock emergency exits; never obstruct the fire curtain.
Part Two: General Safety Practices: Other Emergencies (09:42)
Hire a safety specialist for sword or gun fights. Ensure a refrigerator holding food props does not have any chemicals. Learn the proper protocol for loading or unloading on the rigging system.
Part Two: General Safety Practices: More Safety Tips (04:23)
Work with a partner and wear hard soled shoes. A work light must be left on for safety reasons. David Fenner demonstrates proper lifting techniques.
Part Three: Chemical Hazards and Personal Protection Equipment (10:38)
Fenner reviews commonly used chemicals that can cause long term damage. Protect yourself by consulting MSDs, and using water based products, a glove box, and products that don't create mists or dusts. Local exhaust ventilation can help draw away toxic materials; use protective clothing, eye wear, dust masks, and hearing protection.
Part Three: Reproductive Hazards for Both Females and Males (06:44)
Fenner explains men and women need to protect their reproductive health while working with chemicals. Use a formal waste management program to dispose of toxic waste. Minimize the use of fog and theatrical smoke.
Part Four: Stage Lighting Safety (05:27)
Secure a safety cable around the pipe first before mounting the lighting instrument. Ensure all tools are tethered to a belt loop. Fiberglass and wooden ladders do not conduct electricity and are safer near equipment.
Part Five: Costume Shop Safety (04:01)
Use extreme caution around heated dye water. Fenner offers tips and strategies to prevent burns from glue guns. The American Alliance for theater And Education has a checklist for safety hazards.
Credits: Play It Safe: Introduction to Theater Safety (01:42)
Credits: Play It Safe: Introduction to Theater Safety
Part Six: Scene and Prop Shop Safety (09:13)
Before operating any equipment ask yourself what is the purpose of the tool, what functions does it not perform, what is dangerous about it, and in what ways might it hurt me. Wear appropriate clothing and use all equipment safety guards including blade shields. OSHA requires a hearing conservation program for theaters that operate machinery above 85 dBs.
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