Theatre Stage Health and Safety | Edge-Safe UK

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Stage Safety

Health and Safety in the theatre is essential for all parties involved, from the performers, crew and audience right through to protecting your equipment. We take theatre safety seriously and addressing the risk areas as outlined by the Association of British Theatre Technicians (ABBT) has been critical in the revolutionary design of our innovative Edge-Safe product.

Edge-Safe helps to address the following theatre safety Issues:

Health and Safety Executive Work at Height Regulations 2005Tallescope Edge Safe stage safety

-the following guidance is extracted are from HSE publications and website as applicable to stages and raised performance platforms.
– the extracts are intended to illustrate how the regulations are intended to impact, apply and improve safety for the practical operation of performance stages and platforms.

What is “work at height”?

A place is ‘at height’ if a person could be injured falling from it, including places at or below ground level.

What about the 2 metre rule – if my stage is less than 2m high, is it outside the regulations?

No! The old “2 metre rule” was actually abolished by the Working at Height Regulations in 2005. 87% of the major injuries caused by falls from height in 2008/09, and several of the fatalities, were caused by falls of less than two metres.

The regulations require steps to be taken to prevent falls from height of less than 2 metres where there is a risk of personal injury, so far as is reasonably practicable.

Clearly, therefore, the front edge, and possibly other parts of most stages and raised performance platforms are covered by the WAHR.

What are the duties of those who manage work at height?

As part of the Regulations, duty holders must ensure:

  • all work at height is properly planned and organised;
  • the risks from work at height are assessed and appropriate work equipment is selected and used;
  • the place where work at height is done is safe; and
  • the risks from falling objects are properly controlled.

Duty holders must:

  • use work equipment or other measures to prevent falls where they cannot avoid working at height; and
  • where they cannot eliminate the risk of a fall, use work equipment or other measures to minimise the consequences of a fall should one occur.

Edge-Safe has been designed to assist duty holders in complying with their duties under the regulations. Edge-Safe greatly reduces the likelihood of potential falls in the first place making the need to deal with the consequences much less likely!

Prevention is better than cure

For full details of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 it is recommended that you refer to the Health and Safety Executive website or contact your local HSE Officer.

References to Edge-Safe in the ABTT Code of Practice

Edge-Safe® is mentioned in the 2011 ABTT Code of Practice for the selection and use of temporary access equipment for working at height in theatres. Edge-Safe® is mentioned as a safety enhancing device in Chapter 3, which deals with powered access equipment, and in Chapter 5, which covers procedures for the use of the TALLESCOPE®.

In paragraph 5.5., for example, it is stated:

“Wherever wheeled equipment… is being moved there is a risk in most theatres that the machine or a person might fall off the edge of the stage. Fixing batten stops on the floor have been tried but may cause a trip. A new (2011) product, Edge-Safe® (see Glossary) should be more effective.”

Edge-Safe is also mentioned in the paragraphs on raked stages.

The ABTT Code of Practice is available from the Association of British Theatre Technicians, 55 Farringdon Road, London, EC1M 3JB, email: office@abtt.org.uk.