A Fiery Response - Occ. Health and Safety Update

by Lynda French

As you know at Beaumaris Theatre we love a bit of drama and fun, so mid-June this year we turned our Set Build into a bit of a theatre adventure for our committee. Our objective was to run through a fire drill and practice our emergency evacuation policy.

Post-fire drill lunch

Post-fire drill lunch

We had a 100% attendance by our Committee Members and also our OH&S Subcommittee Members.  Fred Pezzimenti was our chief warden and executed the role with much aplomb. The drill ran like clockwork and all involved played their parts well.  The theatre was exited swiftly and emergency services called. Unfortunately, there may have been a couple of people left behind, but we managed to save them, so a good result overall.  

All in all a great exercise which gave all involved insight into the responsibilities of the fire warden and the many influencing factors that can occur when an emergency situation arises.  Needless to say, our patrons can be assured they are in safe hands when attending events at Beaumaris Theatre Inc. We celebrated our success with a gourmet luncheon provided by our First Lady, Jenni Osburn.

Safe Theatres for Independents.

On Thursday 20th June our Occupational Health and Safety Coordinator attended a seminar and workshop at Hamer Hall.  The workshop was initiated and organised by the Arts Well Being Collective, www.artswellbeingcollective.com.au, Theatre Network Australia www.tna.org.au and Safe Theatres Australia.  www.safetheatresaustralia.com

Promoting positive mental health and wellbeing, the Arts Wellbeing Collective is an Arts Centre Melbourne initiative, which through networks, supports better mental health and wellbeing for performing arts workers. Theatre Network Australia is the leading industry organisation for performing arts.  It has been working with the leaders of Safe Theatres Australia to run forums which are designed in a response to sector need.  

The workshop focused on how independents and smaller companies might deal with potential scenarios involving workplace bullying, discrimination and sexual harassment, especially in the absence of formal workplace policies and resources. Discussions on the day centred on how these mentioned organisations are designing policy and protocol to support theatre people in regard to the above topics. There were several scenarios involving group discussion for participants

Of several speakers, one in particular, Kim Tran, from Live Performance Australia www.liveperfomrance.com.au gave great insight into policy development for OH&S and equal opportunity. Some interesting information was shared re committee/board liability and discussion about current resources. Juanita Pope from Justice Connect also described the work of her organisation which is a social justice charity with many shareable resources regarding volunteers and intellectual property. www.NPlaw.org.au.   

It was an interesting and informative forum and supports Beaumaris Theatre’s objective to provide ongoing support, a safe environment and up to date policies for its members and patrons.