The easiest way to comply with this is to use this RA form from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in the adapted format we have provided.
Health & Safety law sets out a requirement for the self-employed whose work affects others to assess the risks involved.
We also regard it as good practice to do a RA for those times you are working alone - such as practice, rehearsal or working on a computer - to ensure your own health and safety and make sure you don’t fall into bad habits.
However, when you are working for a venue or production you are effectively a sub-contractor and, as such, you can be asked to provide an RA by the body/person booking you. Equally, you can ask to see the RA of the venue booking you. The theory is both parties are to discuss tying in each RA.
The main legislation covering this is the Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations but there are other regulations which have more specific provisions, such as for manual handling or noise.
You do not need to know all the detail to start doing a RA.
It is a straightforward common-sense process of listing:
- what you do,
- the clear hazards and risks you may face (for example, electrical equipment, noise, carrying kit, interaction with audience, using vehicles), and
- what you will do to eliminate or reduce the risks - an action plan of what you are going to do practically (for example, to have electrical equipment tested on a regular basis and for you to do a visual test as you set up).
What you need to do for yourself and fellow workers
You are looking to carry out a RA for yourself and how you interact with other freelance musicians. The most common elements most musicians have to look at are;
- electrical equipment (including use of lights)
- manual handling
- vehicles used for transport
- special effects
- musculo-skeletal problems (meaning looking at how you work physically and aches and strains that may result, seating, posture etc.)
- working outside
- working on temporary structures.
It’s all basic common-sense – listing what you do, what you have to look out for and measures you take to deal with them.
This includes how you interact with others, which covers those you may work closely with such as in a band, but also those you may work with at a venue or on a programme of different acts. It also covers how you rehearse and practice.
The easy way to do this is to draw up your own list or use this HSE drawn-up template. Fill it out and keep it as a guide. Regularly check to see if it needs updating or, if you are going into a new or different situation, modifying.
By using the HSE-based form, you are showing that you are following HSE guidance. It is a very simple form and meets HSE requirements.
If you want to know more about the basic approach look at the short HSE document Five Steps to Risk Assessment.