Health and Safety

8 October 2013

Introduction to the Policy

This policy applies to all staff, volunteers, management committee members, users and the general public.

This policy has been drawn up in response to and in accordance with the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974[1].

The Executive Committee of Cottingham Little Theatre is aware that it has a responsibility to ensure that all reasonable precautions are taken to provide and maintain working conditions which are safe, healthy and comply with all statutory requirements and codes of practice for all staff, volunteers, management committee members, users and the general public.

 Cottingham Little Theatre will, so far as is reasonably practicable, pay particular attention to:

  1.  The provision and maintenance of equipment and systems of work and ensure they are in a fit and safe state
  2. Involving and motivating staff and volunteers in health and safety matters
  3. Controlling situations which may threaten life, health or property
  4. The maintenance of a working environment that is safe, without risks to health and provides adequate facilities and arrangements for welfare at work.

The Procedure

The Executive or Management Committee is responsible for safety in Cottingham Little Theatre  and will monitor the policy; it will be reviewed annually.  The Executive Committee will ensure that sufficient resources are available to provide any health and safety equipment, personal protective equipment and training in manual handling where appropriate.  Information and training for staff and volunteers will be provided, as far as is reasonably practicable, to achieve and maintain a high standard of safety.

 The Executive Committee of Cottingham Little Theatre has appointed Joanne Holmes as the Safety Officer – whose responsibilities cover maintenance of safety records; investigation of accidents; providing accident statistics; and keeping a watching brief on changing safety legislation.  She will report directly to the Executive/Management Committee and they will also, with a view to prevention of future occurrences, carry out full investigations of accidents.

Joanne Holmes has responsibility to provide leadership and to promote responsible attitudes towards health and safety.  Any managers will ensure that all staff and volunteers are given induction training into health and safety procedures.  All new staff and volunteers will be shown the location of First Aid boxes, fire exit doors, and fire fighting equipment.  Managers will ensure good housekeeping standards.  They will review periodically all new and existing equipment with reference to mechanical and operational safety, and carry out regular safety checks and audits

All staff and volunteers have a responsibility to do everything they can to prevent injury to themselves, their colleagues and others affected by their actions or omissions at work.  They are expected to follow Cottingham Little Theatre’s procedures in particular, to report any incidents that have or may have led to injury or damage.  All staff and volunteers should ensure that they use any equipment provided in accordance with training that they have received.   They should report any serious or imminent danger and any shortcomings that they see in the protection arrangements, to Joanne Holmes or to a member of the committee.

Violence at Work

Violence at work can be defined as:

“any incident in which an employee is abused, threatened or assaulted by a member of the public in circumstances arising out of the course of his or her employment” (The Health and Safety executive leaflet ‘Violence to Staff’,1990).

This may also include any form of verbal abuse, any form of harassment due to any of the discriminations identified within Cottingham Little Theatre’s Equal Opportunities policy, as well as any other threatening behaviour and physical attack.

Cottingham Little Theatre is committed to ensuring the personal safety of its staff and volunteers while they are within the working environment.  Therefore Cottingham Little Theatre will:

  • Implement procedures that will be followed at all times to minimize risk and develop safe working practices
  • Provide equipment where necessary
  • Maintain a report/record system
  • Provide up to date information and training on personal safety issues
  • Review systems and procedures on a regular basis

Staff and volunteers are required to:

  •  Follow the procedures set out with regard to personal safety  – see Manual Handling.
  • Report any incident which comes under the definition above
  • To report any incident where there was a feeling of threat
  • To inform a member of the executive committee or Joanne Holmes of any new or increased risk in their work


In the event of an accident all staff and volunteers must report full details to Joanne Holmes  as soon as possible.  Accidents will be reported to the inspecting authority as and when necessary.   Joanne Holmes, with the support of the Executive Committee will investigate all accidents.  Joanne Holmes and the Executive Committee will ensure that necessary action is taken to prevent recurrence.

First Aid

During induction all staff and volunteers will be shown the location of the nearest First Aid box.  First Aid boxes will be placed in appropriate places and clearly signposted.


Fire exits must be kept clear from obstruction.  Fire doors must be kept shut at all times.  Fire regulations are displayed in working areas.  All staff and volunteers must receive information and training upon fire equipment and how to use it.

Electrical Equipment

Electrical equipment is normally safe, provided it is properly installed and regularly inspected.  Remember that water and liquids are conductors of electricity and their associations with faults caused by, for example, damaged cables, flexes, plugs and sockets, the overloading of circuits and fuses would make the shock more severe.  Therefore:

NEVER touch electrical equipment with wet hands; or move any portable equipment without disconnecting it from the mains; or make electrical repairs or do other electrical work unless authorization has been given.

KEEP electrical supply cables and flexes away from wet areas, or from where they will be damaged.

ALWAYS switch off all equipment when not required, unless continuous operation is necessary.  All defective equipment must be reported.  A qualified electrician will check all electrical equipment annually.

Risk Management

Under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations (1999), made under the Health and Safety at Work Act (1974), risk assessment is a compulsory legal requirement to ensure that all members and service users of organisations enjoy a safe and healthy environment.  Risk management should be the responsibility of Joanne Holmes.

Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH)

Hazardous substances will be identified and, if possible safer alternatives will be found.  If this is not possible, then substances will be labeled and stored safely.

Manual Handling

  •  Do not lift objects which pose undue strain
  • Always check the load before moving it
  • Avoid the need for handling wherever possible
  • Always use appropriate aids
  • Do not attempt to lift alone if two people are more appropriate

Training will be provided for staff and volunteers when necessary

Monitoring and Reviewing

Cottingham Little Theatre is committed to ensuring safe working conditions for all staff and volunteers.  Joanne Holmes is responsible for monitoring these procedures on a regular basis and the Executive Committee will review this policy annually.

[1] For more information on ‘The Health and Safety at Work Act’ (1974), and other relevant legislation, please visit

Flowchart of Procedures 

Flowchart of Procedures