Health, Safety & Welfare Policy

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Introduction to this policy

  • This is the Bristol Improv Theatre's equal opportunities policy.
  • A copy of this policy is available from the theatre offices, or by emailing the Bristol Improv Theatre Board of Directors at the following address:
  • If your vision is impaired and arrangements can be made, in special circumstances, for an audio version to be made available.
  • This policy is maintained by the BIT Board of Directors, who can be contacted via the above email address. The Board of Directors undertake to review and update this policy both at regular intervals and following any upheld complaints where it is deemed necessary to do so.

Statement of intent

  1. This policy sets out the commitment of the Bristol Improv Theatre to ensure the ongoing Health, Safety and Welfare of all employees, theatre groups, contractors, volunteers and all others at theatre.
  2. The Bristol Improv Theatre recognises its responsibility to adhere to the Health and Safety At Work Act 1974 and other legislation and this policy sets out to satisfy its obligations to ensure safe systems of work are enacted.
  3. To ensure that safe systems of work are enacted, The Bristol Improv Theatre has a policy that all members of staff are trained, supervised and informed about the operation and changes to the safe systems of work, and upon review or changes to the policy are enacted, employees are consulted before implementation as consultation and cooperation are key to enabling safety in the workplace.
  4. This policy is made available to all members of staff and volunteers to ensure that health, safety and welfare of all persons to attend the theatre. Failure to comply with this policy is taken seriously and may result in disciplinary action.

Roles and Responsibilities

  1. Board of Directors: Effective implementation of The Bristol Improv Theatre Health and Safety policy requires the participation of all staff, the overall control and execution of the policy remains with the board of directors. The accountability for the Health and Safety policy forms an integrated part of the company objectives and commitments. They will be informed of all incidents or accidents that occur on the company premises. A directors or deputy director will have overall responsibility for overseeing the safety committee when it meets on a quarterly basis, and will review the Health and Safety Policy on an annual basis or more frequently if required. They will keep under constant review the need for safety measures and make themselves available for safety delegates and attend Health and Safety meetings upon request.
  2. Programmes Manager: The Programmes Manager will have responsibility for the effective implementation of the company's health and safety policy in regards to contractors of an artistic or performance nature or other events hosted by the company. This will be to ensure that the Health and Safety needs of performers will be in line with company's policy, that all acts at the Bristol Improv Theatre are safe for employees and participants of events.
  3. Finance Manager: The Finance Director will have the responsibility of ensuring funds are made available for all health, safety and welfare matters
  4. Operations Manager: The Operations Manager will have the responsibility for the effective implementation of the company's Health and Safety policy in regards to all employees and scheduled works contractors on site. This will be to ensure that the Health and Safety needs of employees, contractors and the public will be in line with company operational policy.
  5. Health and Safety Officer: The Health and Safety officer shall have the responsibility of ensuring that the Bristol Improv Theatre is compliant with Health and Safety legislation through:
    • Ensuring that statutory Health and Safety considerations are met, in coordination with the Facilities Manager.
    • Informing the Executive Directors of all applicable Regulations or changes to Regulations that are passed in relation to the Health and Safety At Work Act 1974.
    • Overseeing risk assessment of operations undertaken within the company and will be responsible for highlighting issues that have the potential for causing harm to employees.
    • They shall overseeing consultation of Risk Assessments from either internal works or external clients or contractors.
    • Setting the agenda of the Health and Safety Committee meeting.
  6. External Hire Manager: The External Hire Manager has the responsibility of communicating the Health and Safety Policy to performance artists or companies and collecting risk assessment statements from external clients and artistic / performance contractors prior to the start of the show. They have the overall responsibility that all external clients have the neccessary information to prevent violation of this policy.
  7. Community Manager: The Community Manager shall have the responsibility of communicating the Bristol Improv Theatre Health and Safety Policy to volunteers and community users of the theatre, ensuring that they understand the role and responsibilities as outlined by this policy (Section 2.3). The Community Manager Coordinator shall have the duty of providing training for volunteers and provide suitable supervision to ensure that voluntary work undertaken is done safely to all persons at the theatre.
  8. Human Resources Manager: The Human Resources Manager shall have the overall responsibility for the training for all employees and volunteers at the Bristol Improv Theatre. They will also have the responsibility for recording the performance management of all employees and ensure that suitable and sufficient resources are provided for Continuous Personal Professional Development. They have the responsibility to ensure the Health, Safety and Welfare needs of employees is met and communicate to the HSW committee highlighted health and safety issues raised by employees.
  9. Facilities Manager: The Facilities Manager shall have the responsibility for the effective implementation of the Health and Safety Policy and be kept informed of all accidents and incidents relating to this policy and ensure that preventative action is taken. They have overall responsibility to ensure that all facilities, equipment, artefacts and substances are regularly inspected to ensure that all health and safety measures are being followed. They must make themselves available to any member of staff to discuss Health and Safety matters as well as ensuring that scheduled works contractors are informed of the Health and Safety Policy and produce appropriate risk assessments of works to be undertaken. They will regularly discuss with the Health and Safety Officer any changes to legislation and report to the Health and Safety Committee and directors of any changes that are required to be implemented. They shall liaise with local authority on Health and Safety issues and report any accidents under the conditions of RIDDOR.
  10. Technical Manager: The Technical Manager is responsible for alerting the Facilities Manager of any Health and Safety issues and ensuring that the information is passed to the Events Managers or in their absence to the cast and crew. They shall be responsible for ensuring that staging equipment is inspected and maintained and is suitable and sufficient for use. They must ensure that the theatre space is used in line with the Health and Safety Policy.
  11. Bar Manager: The Bar Manager is responsible for the front of house implementation of the the company's Health and Safety policy for the duration of an Event. They shall have the responsibility for the public's and performance contractors health and safety during open hours, and liaise with the Buildings Manager in the event of any health and safety issues.
  12. Event Managers / Key holders: The Event Managers have the role of supporting the Buildings Manager and the Stage Manager on the communication of health and safety issues to cast, crew, and other employees for the duration events.
  13. Employees and Volunteers: All employees have a duty to ensure that they are familiar with the Health, Safety & Welfare Policy and to this end shall:
    • Observe and promote all safety rules at all times shal
    • Familiarise themselves with the evacuation procedures and nearest emergency exits
    • Familiarise themselves with the safe operating procedures and instructions that apply to their jobs.
    • Report any defects or health hazards to their line manager
    • Report any accident or dangerous occurrence to the Buildings Manager
    • Not enter any part of the premises which is unfamiliar to them, without finding out the risks involved.
    • Shall not make any repairs or carry out maintenance work of any description unless authorised to do so.
    • Shall comply with all hazard warning signs and notices displayed on the premises.
    • Not obstruct evacuation routes, fire equipment or fire doors, or through inaction, interfere with their safe operation.
    • Report to the Human Resources Manager any medical condition that could affect the safety of themselves or others.
  14. Other persons on company site: Any staff member bringing other persons or company to work on premises must ensure that those persons shall:
    • Observe all arrangements of the Health and Safety Policy
    • Shall not undertake works until all rules are read, understood and accepted
    • Shall provide Risk Assessments for works to be undertaken, provided to the relevant head of department covering all activities.
    • Shall not start work until covered by insurance and providing a record to the head of department.

Health, Safety and Welfare (HSW) Committee

  1. The Bristol Improv Theatre recognises that consultation is key to the effective implementation of a health and safety policy. The Health and Safety committee is to meet quarterly. The board will consist of the Buildings Manager, Human Resources Manager, Health and Safety Officer and a member of the directors.

Fire & Evacuation

  1. In the event of an evacuation, all members of staff should follow the procedure detailed on the procedure notices around the premises. All member of of staff should make themselves aware of the procedure used during different emergencies. Members of staff with specific duties during evacuations must be given detailed instructions, and become and remain familiar with these duties.
  2. The Facilities Manager has the responsibility for the fire safety in the building, and maintaining an up to date fire risk assessment for assessment by the HSW Committee.
  3. The Events Managers have the responsibility of fire safety during an Event.
  4. The Bristol Improv Theatre will conduct at least one full fire drill per annum, organised through the Health and Safety Committee and executed by the Facilities Manager. Training on the evacuation procedures is given to front of house staff as part of their induction. Supplementary training is given based on performance / usage risk assessments.
  5. The emergency grab bag is located in the box office.

First Aid

  1. A minimum of one staff members will be training for first aid and be on site during operational times of the Bristol Improv Theatre.
  2. When first aid is administered, a report will be filed and given to the Operations Manager. Accident reports are filed with the first aid boxes and are to be completed electronically afterwards. The Operations Manager will be responsible for filing RIDDOR reportable accidents as appropriate.
  3. Contents of the First Aid boxes are monitored and restocked by the Facilities Manager.
  4. First Aid boxes are located in the following areas:
    • Bar (Lower ground floor)
    • Kitchenette (ground floor)
    • Office (ground floor)
    • Theatre Tech Booth (lower ground floor)

General Workplace Safety and Training

  1. The Bristol Improv Theatre recognises the importance suitable training has in reducing risk and maintaining a safe workplace. Accidents are avoided by training of employees in the correct usage of systems and equipment.
  2. Training is categorised into the following areas:
    • Operational Training (including building and event procedures
    • General Safety (including Fire, Evacuation and Risk Assessment)
    • First Aid Training
    • Technical Skills (including Working at Height, Manual Handling)
  3. The Bristol Improv Theatre ensures that all employees and volunteers will be thoroughly trained to ensure the safety of employees, volunteers and patrons.

Alcohol and Drugs Policy

  1. The Bristol Improv Theatre has a no tolerance approach to illegal drugs. If an employee, contractor or casual worker is found with or is suspected to be under the influence of either drugs or alcohol whilst working on the premises, they will be asked to leave and an investigation will start in line with the disciplinary procedure.

Smoke-Free Policy

  1. The Smoke Free policy at the Bristol Improv Theatre is to protect all persons to the exposure to secondhand smoke and to ensure compliance with the Health Act 2006. The company acknowledges that there are serious health risks which can be attributed to active and passive smoking. This policy applies to the commercial areas of the theatre (the accommodation areas are exempt as covered by Section 3 of the Health Act 2006, but may be subject to rental contract agreement).
  2. There are designated areas in which smoking is permitted, away from ventilation sources so that exposure is reduced to be as reasonably practicable as possible.

Work related stress

  1. Work related stress, as defined by the Health and Safety Executive as 'the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demand placed on them'.
  2. The Bristol Improv Theatre recognises that stress can affect anyone and is not viewed as a sign of weakness, but has the potential cause serious physical and mental harm to those it affects; as a result stress is taken seriously.
  3. The Bristol Improv Theatre will:
    • Identify all factors that cause stress and seek to eliminate or control the risk from stress. These will be regularly reviewed.
    • Provide training for all managers and supervisory roles in good management practices.
    • Provide adequate resources to enable managers to implement actions outlined by risk assessments.
  4. Managers will:
    • Ensure good two way communication between themselves and staff
    • Provide staff with constructive feedback
    • Ensure that bullying and harassment is not tolerated in their area of responsibility.
    • Undertake risk assessments in their areas of work
    • Implement recommendations outlined by risk assessments in their areas of work.
    • Monitor holiday and encourage staff to take their full entitlement
    • Ensure that adequate breaks are taken for rest, refreshment and meals.
    • Attend training for good health and safety practice
    • Ensure that their staff are fully training in their areas of expertise
    • Ensure that staff are provided with meaningful developmental opportunities
    • Ensure that staff who have experienced stress are provided with adequate support and advice.
    • Ensure that lone workers are provided with adequate support and supervision,
    • Offer additional support to a member of staff who is experiencing stress outside work, should it be appropriate.
    • Encourage a culture where stress is not regarded as a weakness.
  5. Workers will:
    • Report concerns to their line manager so problems can be addressed and possibly prevented.
    • Give consideration to all support that is recommended.
Last Updated On October 13, 2018
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