Tuesday, September 24, 2013

What's actually dangerous (besides your theatre)?

The folks at ComplianceAndSafety.com put together this interesting infographic:
You are more likely to die falling into the orchestra pit.
You are more likely to die falling from a truss or catwalk.
You are likely to be injured in the shop.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Keeping your workplace healthy one germ at a time

Reduced transference of biological agents pays-off in reduced worker-hours lost to illness, so there is a definite incentive to keep washrooms a germ-free environment. Maintaining a sanitary workplace may require multiple changes to the washroom facilities. The goal is a 'touch-free' design so people don't have to come in contact with the germ / virus carrying surfaces.   Each place you come in contact with the surfaces raises the likelihood of accidental transference.  Washroom operations, like every other aspect of our work and personal life can be viewed as a process.  Layout the steps in the process, assess each item for ways to improve it, then implement the improvement.

Eliminate the scenario where the patron washes hands and drips across the floor top find the paper towel dispenser or air dryer. Dry floors stay cleaner, look nicer, and reduce the likelihood of slip-and-fall accidents.

Things you can do to improve washroom sanitation:

Toilets: No-touch flush mechanisms.

Toilet Stall surfaces and hardware: Antimicrobial coated hardware, solid plastic privacy panels (germs love to get into wood cores), minimal touch latches, and easily cleaned surfaces without grooves and surface textures that can harbor germs, bacteria, and mold spores.  Add sanitary wipe dispensers so patrons can wipe-down seats, railings, diaper changing tables, and door latches at-will.

Wash Sink Areas: No-touch soap dispensers at each washbasin, no-touch water nozzle with pre-heated water (with option to get cold water, but not the default mode of operation), and no lips, edges, or grooves to collect residual water.

No-touch paper-towel dispenser:   Above each sink bowl (install it behind a hinged mirror) so wet hands and faces don't create a path of drips across the countertop and floor. Paper towels must be available to wipe-off faces, arms, and other places where air blowers don't reach. To encourage the use of the air-dryers, post a 'think-green' message to give people a reminder.

Warm-air Hand-drying Jet:  The type that is molded into the sink assembly is best, however, wall-mounted units should be placed between the sink bowls, with the waste-paper receptacle immediately below an opening in the sink counter-top.  With this arrangement the water droplets are blown into the waste bin and the waste bin acts as a bit of a noise muffler for the air blower.

Exit Doors:   If possible, remove them completely; if they must remain, then add motion sensors so they automatically open as you approach from the inside, and/or re-orient them so they swing outwards so that they can be pushed with elbows instead of requiring hands.  Adding a remote door activator (push-button on the wall like those used for wheelchair access) is also a good way to do this, as you can bump them with your elbow to open the door.

The suggested layout also improves the operational efficiency of the washroom operations as patrons are not crisscrossing the space and bumping into each-other.

Washrooms should be cleaned at least twice daily, minimum, usually after the lunch-hour and again after the end of the work-day. The daily use of antibacterial sprays on ALL surfaces (except the ceiling) can further reduce the life-expectancy of germs / viruses. Disposable (single use) sanitary wipes saturated with disinfectants should be used in lieu of detergent-based reusable mops and rags, which are proven to re-contaminate and move infectious bacteria from place-to-place.

Information Resources:

National Pesticide Information Center: Selecting the Right Antimicrobial Product: http://npic.orst.edu/ingred/ptype/amicrob/select.html

Center for Disease Control (CDC): Guideline for Disinfection and Sterilization in Healthcare Facilities, 2008. www.cdc.gov/hicpac/pdf/guidelines/Disinfection_Nov_2008.pdf

EPA-Registered Disinfectants: http://epa.gov/oppad001/chemregindex.htm

Product Resources:

Bradley Advocate wash sink system.  www.bradleycorp.com/advocate

SurfaceClean (Kills 99.9% of germs and bacteria) pretreatment for SurfaceAide XL and also for day-to-day use. www.antimicrobial.com

Lysol (Kills 99.9% of household bacteria). www.lysol.com Also see their Mission for Health : Partners in Prevention page

Windex Multi-Surface Anti-Bacterial (Kills 99.9% of household bacteria). www.windex.com

Monday, September 16, 2013

ESA and TAKE1 Insurance host webinar on Live Event Safety

September 16, 2013 — Asserting that the live event production industry can no longer take a passive approach to life safety, Take1 Insurance, the leading insurance provider to the entertainment industry, today announced that it was teaming up with the Event Safety Alliance (ESA) to host the industry’s first webinar focused on producing safer live events. According to Scott Carroll, Executive Vice President and Program Director of Take1 Insurance, the precedent-setting webinar will take place on b>Wednesday, November 13, 2013 at 2 p.m EST and is open to anyone involved in the business of producing and staging live events.

A 60-Minute Introduction to Producing Safer Live Events” will be held on Wednesday, November 13, 2013 at 2 p.m. EST (1 p.m. CST, noon MST, 11 a.m. PST).  Webinar Registration is now open at:

“The time for discussion is over and the time to take action is at hand,” Carroll stressed today. “For years we have emphasized the need for live event producers to take the time to prepare for the unimaginable and now, thanks to the leadership position taken by Jim Digby and the Event Safety Alliance, the industry can utilize the ESA’s“Event Safety Guide” to prepare complete emergency action plans that include having the right insurance coverage in place.” Carroll emphasized that, “Investing 60 minutes to learn more about the issues involved in producing safer live events is not too much to ask of any of us, given the number of incidents that have occurred over the last several years. It is our hope that ‘A 60-Minute Introduction to Producing Safer Live Events’ is the first in a series of additional Take1 sponsored topic focused webinars that involve a broad range of industry professionals in a very important discussion.”

“Due to a series of tragic accidents, life safety has become a major concern to many within the live event industry,” explained Jim Digby, founder of the Event Safety Alliance. “Whether you work directly on productions or provide support to them, everyone has a role to play in ensuring the well-being of our performers, workers, and audience members. In this webinar, leaders from ESA and Take1 will detail the importance and responsibilities of event safety for those who promote, produce, and insure live events. You’ll learn more about the mission and activities of the ESA, along with our vision for the future, as well as the solutions offered by Take1. Most importantly, we’ll discuss critical tools and resources currently in development, and how the insurance industry can work with the ESA to create safer live events.”


A week after the Event Safety webinar, the Event Safety Alliance will take its message of “be prepared” to LDI 2013 (November 22–24, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada) where it will host a presentation entitled “The Event Safety Guide: The Future of Safe, Responsible Show Production” on November 23, 2013 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

At 3:30 p.m. the same day, the ESA will host a 90-minute roundtable discussion entitled “You Are The ESA”, also at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Equity Actors Association in the UK provides Safety Resources

All Equity Organisers, together with Musician Union Officials, are roving Health and Safety Inspectors under UK Health and Safety legislation, and as such, have automatic right-of-access to any workplace where there is a health and safety issue.

A high number of  legal claims taken-on by Equity on behalf of members concern accidents at work that should not have occurred.  If the accident is the result of employer negligence, Equity will do everything possible, including taking legal action,  to ensure the member is treated properly.

For more information and 19 downloadable safety documents, visit:

Monday, September 9, 2013

BECTU Website is good Safety Resorce for the UK and others

BECTU - Broadcasting Entertainment Cinematograph Theatre Union - a organization that serves many purposes for the technicians in the UK provides numerous links to safety-related documents that can be helpful no matter where you are on the planet.

They have links to the Creative Industries Safety Passport program, Training information, Health & Safety Craft Cards, and an incident reporting form for accidents and near-misses.  Although the incident reporting form is meant for use  by the UK's Theatre Safety Committee, it can be used by anyone trying to organize accident information for their own use or for sharing with others.

Friday, September 6, 2013

OSHA Hammers Away AGAIN About Ladder Safety

Falls from ladders continues to be a leading cause of injuries and deaths, so OSHA has teamed-up with the Center for Disease Control (CDC), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the American Ladder Institute, the Electronic Library of Construction Occupational Safety & Health (elCOSH), and The Center for Construction Research and Training to bring you more training materials.

Visit the Campaign to Prevent Falls in Construction at:

Previous discussions about Ladder Safety can be found at:

Industrial Safety and Health (ISHN) magazine has a good article on fall prevention:
ISHN September 2013 - PPE - Serious About Preventing Falls

The following flash video provides testimony from accident victims, family members of those that didn't make it home, and provides good examples and advice about how to select and use ladders.

The OSHA web site is full of downloadable fliers, posters, training guides, and information, too: https://www.osha.gov/stopfalls/

Working in the theatre is just like working on a construction site, so treat it with respect.