Drama Introduction It is essential to ensure that whenever drama activities and/or performances are undertaken the safety of pupils, staff and audiences is ensured as far as reasonably practicable. The Head of Department will be responsible ensuring all drama space/s, performances and equipment are suitably maintained and risk assessed. A competent person maybe appointed to assist with the delegation of this responsibility. Code of conduct The Head of Department is to ensure all staff and students are familiar with the Code of Conduct prior to undertaking Drama activities. The Code of Conduct (example attached below) are to be prominently displayed within the drama space/s. Checks Before classes, rehearsals or performances checks are to be carried out by a competent member of staff to ensure the suitability of the drama space. Checks to include items such as the suitability of staging, floor surfaces, space, portable appliances, equipment, lighting, props and storage of items. Ensure students are wearing suitable footwear and clothing. At the end of a lesson staff must ensure that all equipment has been rendered safe and accounted for and all gas appliances and electrical equipment used should be switched off. Accidents Staff are responsible for ensuring all accidents and near misses are reported. Risk assessments Risk assessments are to be recorded by a competent person, where there is a significant risk, prior to activities being undertaken or equipment being used. Where existing risk assessments are recorded these should be reviewed to ensure suitable controls are in place. Back stage Back stage areas are to be kept clear of all unnecessary obstructions. When this is unavoidable they should be clearly marked and brought to the attention of the staff and pupils. It is important that routines are established and maintained i.e. all properties are returned to the props table immediately after use. Electrical All portable appliance equipment is to be subject to annual check. Fixed and permanently wired installations will be inspected and tested as part of the electrical installation check. Keep cable runs tidy and securely bunched and properly routed Make sure cable is always fully unwound from the reel to avoid the coil of cable causing ‘reactive inductance’ overheating and the risk of fire. Do not work on any item of equipment whilst it is ‘live’. Ensure equipment is first switched off and disconnected before any work commences. Fire Staff, pupils and audience are to be aware of the emergency evacuation procedures. The fire risk assessment is to be reviewed in the light of rehearsals, performances etc. All exit routes to be clear and correctly signed. Front of house staff to be in place and trained to assist with evacuations during performances Ensure emergency lighting is not compromised. All stage curtaining must be flame resistant either inherently or having been dipped or sprayed with flame proofing solution. First Aid During classes, rehearsals and performances suitable first aid cover must be available. Staff are to be aware of how to summon a first aider / medical assistance if required. Medical information Staff are to ensure information on the medical conditions of students is known to them, including allergies, as drama activities can bring pupils into contact with makeup, paints etc. Scenery Only suitably trained staff are to undertake manual handling and securing of flats. The inherent stability of the scenery should be a consideration of the design. Special effects Special effects such as lasers, smoke effects etc to only be used following risk assessment by a competent person. Pyrotechnics or special effects must always be bought or hired from reputable dealers and should always be fixed in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions using properly designed and constructed devices. Many of these effects are potentially dangerous. They should only be handled under strict supervision of a suitably trained competent person. A written risk assessment must be undertaken. Ensure the use of special effects is planned and consideration has been given to whatever could result or go wrong in each circumstance and that contingency plans and procedures are made and understood by all. eg Will smoke cause fire alarms to activate automatically where smoke detectors are fitted in the building? Will strobes or laser affect any member of your audience, who may be sensitive to such effects? Make clear any necessary warnings Stage lighting Stage lighting must meet the conditions set out in the current IEE Wiring Regulations. Work on installation, repair and maintenance must only be carried out by a qualified electrician. Stage fights The safety and security of the participants should always be considered the most important element in any effect. All stage fights should be choreographed and rehearsed. Unrehearsed sequences should never be permitted. All rehearsals should be under direct supervision of a member of staff. Stage platforms and rosta Some stage platforms and rosta need to be clipped or fastened together. Staff are to ensure the stage platform/ rosta is inspected to ensure it is suitably fastened together and all manufactures instructions are adhered to. Strobe lighting Strobe lighting can cause epileptic fits. To minimise this possibility the British Epilepsy Association recommend that the frequency should not exceed 5 flashes per second. Warnings on the use the strobe should be made available to all attending the performance / rehearsal. No more than 1 strobe should be used at a time. Off site venues The Head of Department is to ensure all venues, including those off the school site that are used for drama activities are assessed for suitability prior to use. Visitors The Head of Department is to ensure all visitors/ visiting groups are suitably inducted into the health and safety arrangements of the school / drama space. Working at height All working at height to be suitably risk assessed. Pupils working at height are to be directly supervised by a competent member of staff. All work at height equipment to be inspected before use. Tallescopes use must be restricted to trained personnel. The Manufacturer’s handbook and instructions should be available to the operators who must follow the instructions and recommendations fully. Tower scaffolds must never be moved by someone on the platform i.e. by pulling him/herself along using a fixed suspension or when there is someone on the platform. Where moving a tower scaffold from one height to another e.g. moving it from the stage to the hall floor it should always be dismantled. A team should never try to lift it down when it is fully or partially erected. Tools should never be carried in pockets or tucked into belts, especially when gaining access to the working platform. Information Further information is available from The Association of Theatre Technicians http://www.abtt.org.uk/ Drama – Code of Conduct Before the Lesson 1. Students are not to enter the drama room/studio/theatre without permission. All students are to be actively supervised. 2. ALWAYS WALK into the room/studio/theatre and never run or push anyone. During the Lesson 1. ALWAYS know exactly what you are doing - listen and concentrate. If not sure, ask your teacher. 2. ALWAYS put your bag, coat in the area where your teacher tells you to put it. 3. ALWAYS be aware of other students safety during active drama sessions never push, punch, hit, strike out at another student. 4. Stage fight scenes, must always be fully choreographed and supervised by your teacher. 5. ALWAYS report an accident or breakage immediately. 6. NEVER eat, drink, during lessons. 7. NEVER interfere with equipment particularly electrical or large scenery. 8. NEVER sit, stand, climb, jump off, chairs, tables or benches without supervision. 9. NEVER remove or interfere with any Safety notices or labels on equipment, walls, doors. 10. Large scenery items should not be dismantled or moved unless under strict supervision by the teacher. After the Lesson 1. ALWAYS leave the room/studio/theatre clean and tidy. 2. ALWAYS collect your bags and belongings from the safe area. 3. ALWAYS leave the room/studio/theatre in an orderly manner.