Safety Guidelines and Procedures
SAFETY GUIDELINES AND PROCEDURES
Purpose: The study of Theatre Arts includes hands-on work constructing sets, creating and modifying costumes, and other such work. Students will be engaged in all manner of workshop and performance activities in accordance with the purposes and mission of the ETBU Theatre Arts Department and its programs. Safety is to be a top priority for all students, instructors, and supervisors. To help ensure a safe work environment for everyone, the following list of guidelines and procedures has been developed. These are to be followed at all times. In addition to these general rules, specific guidelines and instructions will be provided by the instructor and/or supervisor for each activity.
1. Conduct yourself in a responsible manner at all times
2. Follow all written and verbal instructions carefully. If you do not understand a direction or part of a procedure, ask the instructor and/or appropriate supervisor before proceeding.
3. Perform only those responsibilities assigned and authorized by the instructor or supervisor.
4. Horseplay, practical jokes, and pranks are dangerous and prohibited.
5. Observe good housekeeping practices. Inasmuch as possible, work areas should be kept clean and tidy.
6. Know the locations and operating procedures of all safety equipment including the first aid kit, fire extinguisher, etc.
7. Be alert and proceed with caution at all times in the work and performance areas. Notify the instructor or supervisor immediately of any unsafe conditions you observe.
8. Use caution when using sharp objects and tools. Always carry them away from your body. Never try to catch falling sharp instruments.
9. Students who do not obey the safety guidelines and procedures will be required to leave the working area, and their course grade will be affected according to policies outlined in specific course syllabi.
10. No actor will be required to do anything that they feel is dangerous or unhealthy. If an actor feels that the task is dangerous, he/she must bring it to the attention of the stage manager, technical director, and director. After consultation with the Director (or faculty supervisor), a decision will be reached as to whether or not the task will be performed.
11. Under no circumstances will pressure be placed on a person to perform if he/she feels unable. If ill or injured, the decision regarding rehearsing or performing is the actor’s.
Accidents and Injuries:
Report any accident (spills, breakage, etc) or injury (cut, burn, etc.) to the instructor or supervisor immediately, no matter how trivial it may appear.
Clothing and Related Matters:
Contact Lenses: Contact lenses may be worn in labs; however, dust and debris may get cause irritation.
Appropriate Dress: Dress properly while working in the workshop, black box, storage area, or any other designated area. Do not wear loose or floppy clothing that can catch on cables or equipment. Short sleeved shirts and shorts are generally acceptable, although long sleeved shirts and trousers are required when engaged in special work such as pyrotechnics. Skirts and bare feet are never allowed in any work area.
Shoes: Closed toe shoes or boots with insulating rubber and traction soles must be worn. Sandals, flip-flops, and high-heeled shoes are never allowed in any work area.
Hair: Individuals with long hair must tie it back when in a work area. Caps to tuck in hair do not satisfy this requirement.
Jewelry: Dangling jewelry such as necklaces and bracelets are not permitted in a work area. Even rings and earrings could present a hazard. It is best to leave all jewelry at home as the work areas do not provide storage for valuables.
Consequences: It should be understood that the clothing worn in the work place is the first level of safety for the individual. It is the worker's responsibility to wear clothing that will be safe in the work place. Anyone arriving at the work place dressed inappropriately will be sent away to dress correctly and will not be logged in until so dressed. Appropriate dress will be determined by the lighting instructor/supervisor.
Goggles or safety glasses must be worn when using any power equipment. Goggles should be worn when the work produces sawdust, sparks, or flying debris. You will receive one warning for failing to comply. Failure to use appropriate protective equipment after a warning will result in dismissal from session. Other safety wear includes gloves and hard hats, which are required in specialized work tasks and will be indicated in the instruction of those tasks. Heat insulating gloves should be worn when focusing lights. The department provides all personal protective equipment for lighting and stage craft.
Instruction will be given on the proper use of any hand tool that a student must use. All tools are designed to facilitate specific tasks, and the appropriate tool should be used in each instance. Generally, hand tools are not considered hazardous when used properly. No tool should be used for any but its intended purpose(s). Tools are not toys and should never be thrown or handled in an inappropriate way. Failure to handle tools appropriately will result in dismissal from the lab/workshop session.
Power Tools and Equipment:
No person may operate any power tool or equipment until they have:
a) received instruction in the use of that tool/equipment
b) passed the safety check-out on the same item
c) been signed off by the supervisor confirming the satisfactory completion of
instruction and check-out, and
d) agreed in writing that they have been satisfactorily instructed and are willing to
use that tool/equipment.
The appropriate safety wear must always be used with power tools/equipment as per instruction. Students enrolled in classes having technical laboratories are required to complete the instruction and checkout procedure on specified power tools and equipment. After that, the student may elect not to use that tool/equipment again without any consequence to their grade. Anyone deliberately misusing power tools/equipment (in ways or for purposes other than instructed) will immediately be dismissed from the lab.
The misuse of power tools/equipment endangers the user and others. Power tools/equipment found to be defective or not working property may not be used and must be reported to the appropriate supervisor immediately. Such tools/equipment will be removed from service until they are properly repaired.
Electricity follows the path of least resistance. A “short” may result in severe shock to anyone coming in contact with an unprotected channel of electrical flow. Use insulated tools with plastic or rubber handles; wear shoes with rubber soles. Electrical fires are often caused by arcing or short circuits. Maintain appropriate connections and strain relief on all cables and connectors. Locate electrical fire extinguishers in the work area. Never bypass fuses or breakers. Fiberglass ladders are best for electrical work; use metal ladders only with insulating rubber feet. Beware of water ¾ it’s a good electrical conductor. Green is ground; in wiring connectors, take particular care to attach the ground wire to the proper pin of the connector.
The deliberate misuse of lighting tools/equipment endangers the user and others. Anyone deliberately misusing lighting tools/equipment (in ways or for purposes other than instructed) will be dismissed from the lab/workshop session. Lighting tools/equipment found to be defective or not working properly may not be used and must be reported to the lighting supervisor immediately. Such tools/equipment will be removed from service until they are properly repaired.
Precautions for Light Hang:
When working above others, carry a minimum of tools and always tie them off. Take special precautions to avoid falling gel frames, pens, pencils, gobo holders, lamps, or other accessories. All lighting equipment mounted overhead must be secured to the pipe with a safety cable in addition to the C-clamp. The safety cable should ideally be attached to the instrument itself rather than the yoke.
Precautions for Changing Lamps:
Always disconnect power from the instrument before checking or changing a lamp. DO NOT TOUCH the lamp with your bare hands; the oil from your skin will cause the lamp to explode or otherwise be destroyed. Be sure you know the correct method of changing that particular lamp in that particular instrument. Connect power to the instrument only after lamp replacement is completed and the instrument is fully closed.
Safety for Pyrotechnics:
No student may operate a pyrotechnic device until you have received formal instruction in its use. All pyrotechnic devices are extremely dangerous. Use only commercially manufactured flash-pot systems and always follow instructions carefully. Never fire flash pots close to flammable materials or to people.
Black Box Grid:
No student is allowed to access or work in the attic space above the Black Box Theatre for any reason at any time. Only professional staff and faculty of ETBU are permitted to work in this space.
Use ladders with care near electrical circuits. Refrain from ladder usage if you are not in good physical condition; the weight limit is 300 lbs total for all people and equipment, unless labeled otherwise. Only one person on a ladder at a time. Do not use a ladder in front of unlocked doors. Place all ladder feet on firm level ground. Never walk, bounce, or move the ladder while on it. Do not use equipment in a way that makes you feel unsafe. Do not overreach. Use caution when pushing or pulling anything from you as you may lose your balance. Never use a chair or stool as a ladder. Never use a closed ladder as a straight ladder or a platform, plank, or brace. Face the ladder and maintain a firm grip while on the ladder.
Do not leave anything on top of a ladder. Inspect ladders for damage before each use. Open the ladder up and lock the spreaders open. Come down from the ladder before moving it. Close the ladder and put it away when finished. Do not try to repair ladders. Normally, do not place anything under or attached to the ladder to increase height or adjust for uneven surfaces — get permission from the supervisor before leveling and climbing such a ladder.
Precautions for Genie Lift:
No student may operate the Genie Lift until you have received formal instruction in its use. Inspect the machine completely before use. Lower the platform entry gate before operating. Do not exceed the rated platform load capacity; maximum occupancy is one person. Do not raise the platform unless the base is level, all four outriggers are properly installed and the leveling jacks firmly contact the floor. Do not adjust or remove the outriggers while the platform is occupied or raised. Do not move the machine while the platform is raised. Do not push off or pull toward any object outside the platform. Do not raise the platform unless the machine is on a firm, level surface. Do not alter or disable machine components. Do not use the machine to lift more than one lighting instrument at a time, in addition to the operator. Do not sit, stand, or climb on the platform guard rails. Do not exit the platform while raised.
Disabilities, Permanent or Temporary:
The work areas of the theatre abide by the Federal Disabilities Act for equal access and opportunity. However, some disabilities may cause the disabled individual or others to be endangered in some activities. It shall be the determination of the supervisor whether such disabilities could result in endangerment. If it is determined that endangerment exists, alternative work for the disabled individual will be provided by the supervisor. Any student is expected to fulfill all the class requirements to successfully complete the course.
Students with documented disabilities should meet with the instructor/supervisor at the beginning of the class/crew assignment to determine effective assessment of those disabilities in regard to required tasks and activities.
Persons taking medications should notify the supervisor. Those taking medications which may affect balance, motor skills, depth perception, or mental functions may not operate power tools, lighting equipment, climb, or do any activities where those affected functions are involved.
Anyone in the work place under the influence of illegal drugs or alcohol will be dismissed immediately and will be reported to the proper authorities. The work areas of the theatre always pose potential hazards. Every student should behave responsibly and should report anyone not doing so.