Health and Safety When Designing and Building a Set – part 1

The producer, set designer and construction team are responsible for production set and scenery safety. Overall responsibility lies with the producer and it’s their job to ensure that competent people are hired to design and construct the set and scenery. The legal requirements for designing and building a set come under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (the Management Regulations). If a set and scenery are not designed, constructed and built correctly they’ll be a hazard to all the people around it and that includes the audience as well as the actors, actresses and production teams. Jamie Squillare would like to share with you how to keep safety when designing and decorating a set.

There is also something special I want to tell you, my readers.

As it is now more than 700 of you, I really want to thank you all guys. Thank you for the support and love you’ve been showing all this time on Twitter, thanks for sticking with me 😉 I truly appreciate every single one of you

It’s important that the set is designed so that it can be put together, built and used safely. This also applies to the taking down and removal of the set and any scenery. A risk assessment should be performed and documented highlighting all the possible risks and detailing the safety measures. This information should be made available to all people on site.

The risk assessment should cover the following areas:

FIRE – because of the nature of the materials used in set design this risk is high. Control measures will depend on the size and scale of the set and range from just the provision of a fire extinguisher to fire alarms and evacuation procedures for large and complex productions.

SUSPENDED SCENERY – if the stage set design or scenery includes items that are flown or suspended the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER) and The Provision of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER) have provisions included in them that will apply. Any risk assessment should include details of how compliance will be achieved.

SCAFFOLDING – should be designed and constructed by competent people. It must be safe and regularly inspected.

FALLING FROM HEIGHTS – working at heights should be avoided if possible. Where this is not possible the correct PPE should be provided and all users adequately trained in its operation.

MANUAL HANDLING – the weight of any scenery should be minimised where possible, handles provided and items marked with a warning.

Continue to part two


Want to know more? Follow me:

Jamie on Pinterest with more photos and useful infographics (also cute animals).

Jamie Squillare on Facebook – you can get my new work first.

The profile of Jamie on IMDb – check the full list of her job.

And of course here – on my Blog where I try to keep you in touch with latest trends and some tips.

I’m Jamie Squillare – a leading set dresser.

 “Set Decoration is my passion and lifestyle!”



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s