Students may work in stage and shop areas performing construction activities during school hours and after school until rehearsal has ended, as long as the technical director or another qualified supervisor is present.
All students must review the theatre safety guidelines and must agree to comply with these regulations prior to any work in the Scene Shop or Stage areas.
Any injury requiring first aid or other medical treatment must be reported to the technical director the same day.
For any first aid administered in the theatre, first aid kits are provided.
All company members are reminded that at no time should individuals come in contact with another's person's blood or other bodily fluids. Custodians must be contacted to sanitize any spilled blood.
Participants are urged to THINK SAFETY at all times.
Failure to follow the safety rules could result in serious injury or death.
Do not take chances. If in doubt, ASK.
If a procedure or situation in the shop or theatre seems dangerous, ASK.
Report all unsafe conditions to a supervisor.
Food and drink are prohibited in the theatre, shop, and control rooms.
Remember that the clear-com headset system is a tool. It serves as the lifeline of a production, allowing all production elements to be connected.
Never say anything over the headsets that you don’t want the ENTIRE world to hear or know. You never know who’s listening.
Chatter must be confined to production business; personal conversations should remain personal and on your own time.
When a stage manager issues a “CLEAR THE LINE” command, comply by shutting up immediately. No one else should use this command unless it is an emergency.
Leave your headset microphone OFF unless you have something to say.
Do not set your headsets anywhere where they might be damaged (i.e. sat on, stepped on, fallen on, etc.), or you will be responsible for replacing it.
Do not place your headset or com cable in the electrical field of the light board or other equipment. This may result in a buzz on the com line, which will drive everyone nuts.
Do not push the call button. It is really annoying.
Coms use what are called “whisper mics,” which are very sensitive. This means that you do not need to speak above a whisper into them, and that the mic itself does not need to be near your mouth. The best position is to the side of your face or under your chin.
Someone should be on coms in each area (i.e. stage and booth) at ALL TIMES before and during a show. At least one person should remain on in each area, even during intermission.
HOW TO AVOID DAMAGING
YOUR PRECIOUS SELF
KNOW WHICH THINGS IN THE THEATER
ARE DANGEROUS OR HAZARDOUS
Power saws, drills, sanders, air compressors, and other electrical tools can seriously mess you up, even when used correctly.
Students are not ever required to operate power tools.
Wear eye protection when using power tools.
Check all around you before beginning to cut or drill.
Take the time to understand a tool’s safety features.
Let the tool work the way that it is designed to work.
If you’re not sure whether you know how to use a tool correctly, then you do not know how to use it correctly, and you should not try.
All operators of power tools must be trained in proper use and safety of the tool prior to operating it. The technical director will decide who is authorized to use power tools.
When setting down any tool, make sure it is turned off and stopped, with any guards in position.
Never carry a portable power tool by the cord.
Keep cords, hands, and clothing away from moving parts of the tool (ie. blades, bits, and cutters).
Disconnect tools when not in use, before servicing and before changing bits, blades and cutters.
To avoid accidental starting, do not hold finger on the switch while carrying a plugged in tool.
Inspect tools and cords for damage and defects before each use.
Do not use a damaged tool. Turn it in to your supervisor. Do not repair it yourself.
Do not remove, alter or disable any guard or safety device on any power tool.
Wear goggles when using any power tool.
Allow the tool to reach full speed before use. Stay with it until it stops. Do not leave a running machine.
Do not restart power tools until they have come to a complete stop.
Inspect materials before use. Remove screws, nails, staples or other material before cutting into used woods.
Make any necessary adjustments to power tools while the power is turned off.
Stand to the side of the power tool when turning it on. Do not stand directly in line with the saw blade or other moving devices.
Observe safety space. Only the operator is permitted within the working area around a machine.
Keep the power tool and related work area clean.
HAND TOOLS (i.e. non-power tools)
Yep, they are dangerous too.
Chisels, screwdrivers, saws, cutting blades, nails, screws, clamps, and even pencils can and will injure you and anyone nearby if you use them carelessly.
Never play with a tool, and watch out for bystanders when you use one.
Use the proper tool for the job.
Maintain tools in good condition. Report damaged tools to your supervisor.
Store and carry tools properly. Put them away when you are done.
Be sure your hands are as free of dirt and grease as possible.
When using or carrying a sharp edged tool, point the sharp edge away from you.
Do not carry sharp edged tools in your pockets.
Wear proper safety equipment.
LADDERS & LIFTS
The bigger they are, the farther you’ll fall.
Students are not ever required to climb ladders.
Do not climb a ladder (or anything else!) if you are in the theater alone.
The top step of a ladder is only there to hold the ladder together, not to provide you with a place to stand or set things.
Climb only the side of the ladder with steps.
Our ladders are only rated for ONE person at a time.
If you are afraid of heights, or just don’t like ladders, then you are not the person who should be up on one. Let someone else do it.
When working higher than 3ft off the ground, always have someone below to steady your ladder.
If you are steadying a ladder, stay alert. The person on the ladder may need your help or may accidentally drop something on you.
Make sure any tools that go up a ladder with you are firmly secured to you. A dropped tool can result in a broken tool, or an injured colleague.
If we don’t have a ladder tall enough for your purpose, then it is not a job that you should be doing.
Check ladders for broken or damaged parts before use. Never use a damaged ladder. Report any damaged ladder to your supervisor and remove it from service.
Do not place a ladder in front of a door that opens onto the ladder unless the door is blocked open, locked from access, or guarded.
Do not place ladders on boxes to obtain extra height.
Always face the ladder when ascending or descending.
Never leave anything on top of a ladder or on the steps of a ladder unattended.
Do not lean or overreach from a ladder.
Do not straddle the space between a ladder and another object.
Make sure the ladder is fully open and the spreader is locked.
Never reposition a ladder while you are on it.
Store ladders in their proper location after use.
Do not use a ladder on an uneven surface.
Do not use a ladder without someone else present in the area.
Students are not ever required to use the Genie Lift.
No student should ever be on the Genie while it is moving or extended.
No student should ever operate the Genie lift controls for any reason.
Only one person is allowed in the Genie lift basket at a time.
Do not climb, stand, or sit on the Genie lift basket railings.
BIG, HEAVY THINGS
If it is bigger than you, then it can squish you.
Find enough crew members to carry a heavy object without straining anyone.
At least one person should be able to see where you are going.
Call “Heads up!” loudly and frequently when carrying heavy equipment.
When lifting objects, do not lift with your back. Squat down and use your leg muscles and keep your back straight.
If the object appears to be too heavy or awkward, ask for help.
When moving objects from one area to another, use a cart, basket, or hand truck. Do not carry heavy objects any great distance in your arms.
When pushing or pulling objects like rolling scenery units, always exert pressure gently. If the unit seems too heavy for you to move by yourself, ask for assistance.
OBSTACLES & OBSTRUCTIONS
Don’t create one. Don’t be one.
If you have to leave an obstacle anywhere in the theater, especially in the dark, mark it with a light, a sign, or something noticeable. Don’t injure another person because you were too lazy to make things safe.
Mark any permanent or semi-permanent obstacles with marking tape or glow tape.
All audio/visual cables in working and walking areas are to be properly dressed and taped down.
If you make a last-minute change in a dark area, tell people. Your colleagues (especially the actors) may be so used to the old arrangement that they will not be paying attention.
Stay alert to changes in work conditions.
Clean up spills as they occur.
Clean up tools, materials, and obstructions when finished with a project or when leaving it for an extended period of time.
Block off entrances to wet painted floor areas.
Put away cords and hoses when the job is completed.
Do not block aisles, hallways, fire exits, doorways, fire doors, fire equipment or electrical panels.
Notify the technical director of any unsafe condition promptly.
The edge of a platform that is hidden by a curtain, for instance, can be especially dangerous, so take care to create a safe environment for others.
HEAT & FLAME
Many objects in the theater can and will burn your skin, or burn down the theater.
Any tool that uses power will create heat, but some do it on purpose. There is a reason why we call it a hot glue gun. (Don’t even get me started on the heat gun.)
Drill bits and saw blades will often heat up when used. Use caution when handling these.
When adjusting lights, WEAR GLOVES. They get extremely hot, and may remain so even after they are turned off.
Avoid having open flames anywhere in the theater. The backstage area will often contain sawdust, paint, and/or solvents, all of which burn readily.
Unplug all heat-producing tools (hot glue guns, curling irons, etc.) before leaving the theater.
Learn where the fire extinguishers are and know how to use them.
All combustible chemicals (flammable AND inflammable) are to be stored in the red storage cabinet.
If you don’t understand the reasons for the following measures, go ask a science teacher.
Wear rubber-soled shoes when working with power tools or any other electrical equipment.
Unplug any cord by grasping the plug, not the cord.
Keep all liquids away from power sources.
Completely dry your hands before touching electrical switches, plugs, or receptacles.
Do not touch bare electric wires for any reason, unless you know for a fact that they are not connected to a power source.
Never change a lamp or work on any piece of electrical equipment while it is still plugged in.
All electrical work is only to be performed by trained and qualified staff employees.
Electrical rigging is only to be performed by trained lighting crew members and under staff supervision.
Only properly grounded tools, cords, and equipment may be used.
Never run extension cords through doorways, windows, or holes in walls.
Check all equipment and cords for damage before use.
Remove damaged equipment from use and notify your supervisor.
Be alert for extension cords on the floor and in work areas.
Do not overload extension cords. Use one power tool per cord.
Gloves should be worn when focusing lighting equipment or changing lamps.
Rings, jewelry, watches, etc. should not be worn when working with lighting equipment.
Use the shortest extension cable possible.
Notify your supervisor of any hazardous electrical condition.
CONSUMING THINGS THAT ARE NOT FOOD
Eating, drinking, and breathing all become ten times more complicated in the theater.
Don’t eat paint, glue, foam, or any other substance used the theater.
Guess what. If it’s on your hand when you pick up your taco, you just ate it. WASH YOUR HANDS.
Many chemicals can be toxic if ingested.
The sawdust in the theater can contain many of the toxic substances that are found on wood (paint, glue, preservatives, and other chemicals), so be aware of sawdust settling on food or drinks, and take measures not to inhale it.
If you have difficulty breathing, become dizzy or nauseated, or have a nosebleed, get out of the theater and FIND AN ADULT. You may be having a bad reaction to some substance that is being used.
A medical problem in the theater is not something to be stoic about – your bravery could endanger you or someone else.
PAINT & GLUE
In this theater we use mostly latex-based paint. When applied with a brush or roller in a well-ventilated space, it does not present a serious health hazard. We also use either Elmer’s or carpenter’s glue.
Most other kinds of paint can cause health problems if not used properly. Never use these kinds of paint at DCC without an adult present.
When applying spray paint, either go outside or position your work area near the open outer garage door. When outside the shop, use a drop cloth!
When painting indoors, always open enough doors to create a ventilation path to the outside. Maintain ventilation until the paint is dry.
If the air is blowing into the building, you are doing it wrong.
A particle mask is required when spraying latex and acrylic paints.
Know what you are working with. Read M.S.D.S. on chemical before using it.
Wear protective clothing and equipment for the job.
Protective gloves must be worn when handling chemicals.
Eye protection must be worn when handling chemicals.
In case of a chemical spill, notify the shop supervisor.
STYROFOAM CAN CREATE HAZARDOUS PARTICLES WHEN IT IS CUT AND SHAPED WITH POWER TOOLS.
IT CAN ALSO EMIT FUMES WHEN CUT OR SCULPTED WITH HEAT.
Particle masks and goggles should be used when cutting and shaping Styrofoam with power tools, hand tools, or a hot knife.
Hot knife cutting should be done in a well ventilated area.
No chemicals should be applied to any kind of foam without a respirator.
There is a reason it is scary.
In a theater, blackouts may occur at any time. Be ready.
Use caution in low light level situations.
If controlling the lights, use the god-mic to warn all people in the theater when stage lights are going to black, unless it is a planned lighting cue.
Always use a flashlight when necessary.
Stop all hazardous activity during low light levels.
If a blackout occurs and you cannot see anything, stop where you are.
Provide running lights for major pathways whenever possible.
Always use low blues for scene changes.
Because you don’t want to be deaf by age 20, if you can help it.
PROLONGED EXPOSURE TO LOUD AND CONTINUOUS LEVELS OF NOISE CAN SEVERELY DAMAGE OR IMPAIR ONE'S HEARING.
Wear ear protection when operating or in the vicinity of loud machinery and tools.
Wear ear protection when exposed to loud and prolonged sound from theatre audio systems.
Ear muffs and plugs are available in the scene shop.
Being able to hear things that are going on around you is essential. There should not be loud music playing if tools are being used.
Headphones should NEVER be worn in the shop or while working onstage.
Do not use any equipment or perform any tasks that have not been explained to you by the Technical Director or his/her designee.
Horseplay in the theater can lead to serious injury. Don’t act like a fool.
We are relying on you to police your own behavior when in the theater, so always think before you act.
You may only be joking around, but in a theater there are far too many dangerous objects and high places where people could fall.
If you are not behaving responsibly, you will be asked to leave.
LITERALLY EVERYTHING ELSE THAT EXISTS
Any object in the theater can be a hazard in ignorant hands.
If you don’t know what something is, or who put it there, or what it is being used for, don’t touch it. It is probably above your pay grade.
WEAR SHOES. Whether you are in the shop, on stage, in the house, or in the booth: if you are barefoot, you are a wrong. You have just been warned.
If you are handling something that could injure you, wear the proper safety gear: e.g. gloves, goggles, etc.
Do not use ANY OBJECT in the theater for anything other than its intended purpose. If you don’t know its purpose, ask someone.
Do not use any power tool unless an adult is present. You may think you are a genius and you can handle things on your own, but so did that guy who just chopped his own leg off.
Whether you are building, acting, dancing, singing, or doing your job (or just wandering around and getting in the way of people who are doing their jobs), stay aware of your surroundings. An injury can ruin your whole day or even force you to drop out of the production.
If you don’t like teamwork, you can sit at home.
If you enjoy risks, then join the rock-climbing club.
If you’re invulnerable to injury, go play football.
This is student theatre, so no one here is getting paid, and everyone is giving up their free time to be here.
We all show up to have fun and create entertainment, but when someone gets injured, it ruins that.
Your colleagues should not have to suffer because you are too lazy to take proper precautions or because you feel like goofing off.
Don’t be that guy. Seriously.