Thursday, 28 May 2015

Theatre ceiling collapse prompts new guidlines

New technical standards produced after the collapse of the ceiling at London's Apollo Theatre in 2013 have been launched. Various organisations, including the Society Of London Theatre, UK Theatre and the Association Of British Theatre Technicians, collaborated on reviewing health and safety procedures after the Apollo incident, and have now issued revised technical standards and specific new guidance on the monitoring of 'suspended fibrous plaster ceilings'. A memo from the ABTT notes that: "Although ceiling inspections are nothing new for theatres, the guidance identifies a baseline survey which, while remaining proportionate, is more comprehensive and thoroughly documented than previously required". It goes on: "The Health & Safety Executive have said they believe that by 31 August 2016, all theatres that have, or potentially have, suspended fibrous plaster ceilings should have completed their baseline survey, have had their ceiling competently inspected and put in place measures to ensure the ceiling is safe. Any concerns theatre owners have regarding this work should be addressed in the first instance to their local authority".

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