A night out at the theatre is enjoyed by thousands of people each year. In fact, London theatres alone enjoyed receiving 14,742,588 visitors in 2015. This is a booming industry, and those who run theatres around the country realise they are responsible for ensuring the health and well-being of all those who attend. The Health and Safety Executive provides ample health and safety resources for those working in the industry, and these also provide guidance on how to keep audiences safe. This means many common accidents at the theatre can thankfully be avoided.
So, what could we include in this area? We have provided a list of possibilities below:
- Trips and falls
- Cuts and bruises
- Sprained ankles and wrists
- Back injuries
These are just some of the injuries a person could potentially suffer if they had one of the more common accidents at the theatre. While such things can happen, they are incredibly rare, since most theatres have staff taking every conceivable measure to make sure no one is injured during their time in the building.
Would trips and falls be among the most common accidents at the theatre?
This is a possibility. Few people can go into a theatre without encountering steps or slopes as they make their way from the entrance of the theatre to their seat. If the carpet is old and threadbare, it may mean someone gets their foot caught in it and trips or falls over. The same applies if the carpet has not been laid properly and is loose, or if there is a tiled or laminated floor or something similar that can become slippery.
If the weather is bad outside, steps should be taken to minimise the instance of people coming inside with wet shoes. Proper mats should be laid down for people to wipe their feet on, so there is no excess moisture or water on the floors that could become slippery. Falls are a very common source of injury in many people. According to the NHS, one in three adults aged 65 and over will have one or more falls every year. This can easily happen in locations other than the home if they are unsteady on their feet. Thankfully, few theatres have hazards such as this present, which makes the venue even safer.+
The importance of proper lighting in a theatre
We all know the house lights go down when the theatre performance is due to start. However, there will still usually be lighting near the floor on each step leading up out of the auditorium. This enables people with a need to leave or return to their seat to do so safely and to be able to see the steps in front of them. As we know, trips and falls can be among the more common accidents at the theatre, and proper lighting can minimise the risks associated with these falls.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents indicates there are at least seven risk factors for falls that could play a part anywhere. One of these is given as environmental hazards, and this could potentially include poor lighting or a lack of lighting. By ensuring all lights are working and there is adequate lighting in risk areas including stairwells, the more common accidents at the theatre can be avoided in many cases.
Do you work at a theatre?
The arts and entertainment industry enjoys a lower rate of workplace injuries when compared to many other industry sectors. However, the figures for this industry are also higher than others, such as the service activities sector. The Health and Safety Executive noted a rate of 1,960 injuries per 100,000 workers for the arts and entertainment industry. Additionally, the same statistics revealed 2,830 work-related illnesses occurring per 100,000 workers throughout the industry.
This tells us the most common accidents at the theatre may have the potential to occur to workers and not just to those who visit the theatre for entertainment. Theatres are filled with equipment – heavy backdrops need to be manoeuvred into place, lighting must be rigged up and held in position, and there are trapdoors in the stage as well. These are just a few examples of the challenges theatre workers get to grips with each day.
Fortunately, very few people in the theatre industry are ever affected by injury. This is because the most common accidents at the theatre can be avoided by undertaking a risk assessment of every task that must be done as part of an individual’s working day. Most employers take this very seriously and therefore ensure their employees are always able to work safely and not be at any risk of injury or illness.
Have you been injured while at the theatre?
We understand how upsetting it can be to be injured, especially when you’re not the one to blame. You may know for certain someone else was at fault, but even if you’re not sure, a quick call to reach our experienced team will set your mind at rest. It may result in you being able to make a no-win, no-fee* claim. If so, one of our experienced solicitors will guide you through the process of doing just that. Make sure you don’t leave it too late – you have a three-year period in which to claim if you have an opportunity to do so. We may be able to help.
It doesn’t matter whether you were working at a theatre or whether you were visiting to see a performance. If you sustained an injury while you were there, you should consider what happened. Was someone else to blame for your injury? Could or should it have been prevented? Finding the answers isn’t always easy, but you can get to the truth sooner if you get in contact with Accident Advice Helpline. We’re available for you to call on 0800 689 0500, or on 0333 500 0993 if you are on a mobile.*/
Date Published: December 9, 2015
Author: David Brown