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Health & Safety Updates

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.

For further information on the H&S Working Group please contact: amanda.liddle@scottishtheatre.org

See it Safely’ Toolkit
FST Members can sign up to this audience-focused toolkit from UK Theatre/ SOLT administered for members by FST. click here.

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.

Scottish Government Guidance

From Tuesday 5 January, mainland Scotland’s COVID-19 Protective Framework Level has moved from Level 4 to a temporary Lockdown, with new guidance to stay at home except for essential purposes. Some islands will remain at Level 3

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 14 December 2020.

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.

This site includes a sample risk assessment of things to consider.

HSE Making your workplace Covid secure information 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.

Their guidance notes 101 & 102, COVID-19 Risk Assessments for Returning to Work in Places of Entertainment can be downloaded here.

ABTT have now published their guidance note 103, Production and Technical Departments Safe Working Procedures can be found here.

ABTT have now published their guidance note 104,
COVID-19 Returning to Work in Places of Entertainment: Guidance for Safe Working in Rehearsal & Production Environments can be found 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
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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 Training funds can be applied for to cover costs for these courses. You can find out more about available funds here.

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