The Ultimate Stage Safety Checklist

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The Ultimate Stage Safety Checklist

May 22, 2019

portable stage

There’s a lot that goes into ensuring that you have a safe performance area. Regardless of the venue, application, or type of stage or riser you have, the guidelines for making sure it’s safe remain the same.

Every single part of the space can play a part in optimizing safety, so it’s important that nothing gets overlooked.

Regardless of if you’re a church, school, theatre, community center, or production company, this post will outline the four areas you need to be looking at to make sure your events are as safe as possible.

Stage Floor

First off, the stage floor is the most important thing to look at. It also has the most areas that need inspected.

The floor should be cleaned before and after each use and it should be in good structural condition.

A permanent wooden stage may have boards that need replaced, a concrete stage may have cracks that need filled, and a carpeted stage may have torn or frayed carpet that needs fixed. Doing these things will help to prevent trip hazards.

stage extensions

If there’s a stage extension or pit filler, as seen above, it needs to be in good structural condition as well. It shouldn’t be homemade either as a manufacturer designed extension will be much, much safer. When it comes to the surface that someone is going to be standing on, all staging should be designed by a reputable manufacturer or structural engineer. This should be the rule and not the exception. Another safety item to consider is having the front edge of the platform clearly marked so the performer does not step off the front of the stage.

Cables

The next thing to focus on is the cables that are required. As far as trip hazards go, it’s best to not have any cables lying across the floor, but we know this isn’t always realistic.

If cables are needed, make sure that they’re laying in areas with the least amount of traffic. It’s also good to secure them to the floor using gaffer tape.

Lights

Proper stage lighting will help everyone see better which will make the environment safer. When using overhead lights, the stage wings where people are entering and exiting from should be adequately lighted and there should be enough lighting so that the front edge is easily visible.

Also, be careful with strobe lights and other energetic lighting effects as they can distract or impair a performer’s vision which can lead to missteps or falls.

Props & Other Special Effects

Props or other special effects like pyrotechnics or fog machines can add a lot to your overall performance. Basic stage props, like scenery for a play, should be secured to the floor to limit the risk of falling over

special effects

Pyrotechnics should be used with extreme care and should only be executed by an expert. Make sure you know your local fire code regulations before doing this as well.

Fog machines can cause excessive moisture on the stage which can create a slippery surface or cause damage to the stage. Having condensation collection pans under these machines will greatly reduce this moisture making for a safer performance space.

Whatever the application is or whether you’re using a portable or permanent stage, taking the steps outlined in this guide will ensure safety for everyone involved. Make sure you save this article and refer to it when you’re getting ready for your next event.

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