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Health & Safety

In June 2020 FST convened an advisory group to provide clarity on Health and Safety matters for theatres & theatrical producing companies relating to COVID-19. 

The group will be meeting regularly in the coming weeks and months to collate and signpost to the most current and pertinent Government, professional and union guidance and we will publish new resources and advice in our resources section as they become available.

FST Health & Safety Surgeries
We continue to run regular peer support surgeries focused on managing H&S risks, specifically regarding COVID-19 at this time. These are regularly promoted through our social media channels on Twitter and Facebook, and will also appear in the ‘What’s On’ section when confirmed.

Technical Advisory Group on Safer Systems (TAGSS)
The Federation of Scottish Theatre and Festivals Edinburgh has convened a Technical Advisory Group on Safer Systems, to support the route towards re-opening at a viable scale for the performing arts across Scotland by sharing information and good practice widely across the sector and providing a focal point for discussion with national authorities. 
Find out more

See it Safely’ Toolkit
FST Members can sign up to this national, audience-focused, toolkit from UK Theatre/ SOLT administered for members by FST.
Find out more

H&S Training
A number of training providers are now offering Covid-19 Awareness Training as well as Compliance Training, you can find links to these at the bottom of this page. FST Members are entitled to discounted rates from many providers, including UK Theatre/ SOLT. Our own FST Training funds can also be applied for to cover costs for H&S courses.

For further information on FST’s Health & Safety support, the H&S Advisory Group, and any of the above topics please contact: Amanda Liddle, General Manager, amanda.liddle@scottishtheatre.org

Scottish Government Guidance

You can find a summary of the latest Scottish Government COVID-19 announcements on our COVID-19 Resources page.

The following Scottish Government guidance is available:

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UK Government Guidance

The UK Government guidance for people who work in performing arts, including arts organisations, venue operators and participants can be found here.
This guidance was last updated on 15 April 2021.

Please note
This guidance is not applicable in Scotland, however, it is similar to the Scottish Government guidance and may be useful for reference. FST continues to work with UK Theatre and other professional bodies to advocate for as consistent an approach as possible across the entire UK sector.

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Health & Safety Executive Guidance

  • The Health & Safety Executive general COVID-19 guidance to help businesses work safely during the outbreak is located here.
  • Their site also includes a sample risk assessment of things to consider
  • HSE guidance on making your workplace COVID-19 secure is here 

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Professional Bodies Advice & Guidance

The Association of British Theatre Technicians (ABTT) is the UK’s principal professional body for backstage workers. They publish widely used guidance notes for many theatrical production and backstage activities. During COVID-19 many of these Guidance Notes are either FREE or low cost to ensure as wide usage as possible.

  • Guidance notes 101 & 102
    COVID-19 Risk Assessments for Returning to Work in Places of Entertainment
    download here
  • Guidance note 103
    Production and Technical Departments Safe Working Procedures
    download here
  • Guidance note 104
    COVID-19 Returning to Work in Places of Entertainment: Guidance for Safe Working in Rehearsal & Production Environments
    download here
  • Guidance note 105
    COVID-19 Re-opening Places of Entertainment: Systems Inspections & Audit Checklist
    download here
  • Guidance note 106
    COVID-19 Re-opening Places of Entertainment: Fire Inspection Checklist
    download here

The ABTT also have a number of resources including example documents for arts organisations and commercial suppliers planning and risk assessment documents located here.


SOLT & UK Theatre have created an online platform which highlights a range of live and recorded webinars to equip the theatre industry with the tools to begin rebuilding after the COVID-19 lockdown ends, it also hosts links to Theatre specific Health and Safety Training. It is located here.


The Costume in Theatre Association has created safe return to work guidance and checklist – login (free) required to access.


The Chartered Institute of Building Service Engineers has issued guidance on safely reoccupying buildings. They have specific guidance on ventilation a key part of managing the risks associated with Covid-19. You can find the link here

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Unions Advice & Guidance

All of the UK Unions have produced guidance for their members on returning to work and working safely with Covid-19. Each of the major arts unions guidance is listed below:

  • BECTU information can be found here
  • Musicians Union information can be found here
  • Equity information can be found here

Training

A number of training providers are now offering Covid-19 Awareness Training as well as Compliance Training.  The H&S Group will continue to review these and links will be posted here.

  • Managing Covid-19 Safely – SOLT & UK Theatre
    This course has been developed to give delegates an understanding of COVID-19 health and safety responsibilities. It will help you control and monitor risk to improve H&S at work helping to manage this new workplace hazard. (Discount available for FST Members)
  • COVID-19 Compliance Officer for Theatres
    The course has been designed specifically for the Theatre Industry and provides candidates with the essential knowledge and skills to operate as a COVID-19 Compliance Officer in a Theatre and Production environment.
  • Please note: FST’s Online Training Funds can be applied for to cover costs of these courses. You can find out more about available funds here.

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