IOSH Releases Machinery Safety Guide for Theatrical Sets

The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) has launched a new safety guide for workers in the theatre industry who are involved in designing, manufacturing and using machinery on theatrical sets.

The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) has launched a new safety guide for workers in the theatre industry who are involved in designing, manufacturing and using machinery on theatrical sets. The seven-part online guide, created by IOSH experts, is the first of its kind in the industry.

IOSH’s guide is designed for use by anyone involved in theatrical machinery, including technical managers and designers, construction, production and state managers, and producers. The guide covers each stage of a theatrical set, beginning with concept and design and continuing through signoff and use.

Hayley Seddon, a Committee Member of IOSH’s Theatre Advisory Group, led the creation of the guide.

“Working with machinery presents a variety of safety risks which are faced by many in the theatre industry yet, up until now, there hasn’t been any guidance on how to manage these risks,” Seddon said. “Our new guide really fills a gap in this market. Across the theatre industry we see some fantastic sets. Our guide is designed to be a simple, step-by-step guide which will help people ensure that people don’t come to harm when creating these.”

The new guide covers areas of theatrical machinery including concept, design, manufacturing, commissioning, inspection and safety sign off, testing, final signoff and handover, and its use. The safety guide gives users guidelines for best practice and principles of good health and safety risk management in order to ensure sets are fit for their purpose and safe for use in productions.

“As health and safety professionals, our role is not about stopping people from doing this. Quite the opposite, we are enablers. We want to ensure incredible and imaginative theatrical sets can be created. Our guide will help this happen,” Seddon said. “The document doesn’t replace regulations, directives, approved codes of practice or standards, but can be followed alongside them.”

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