Student Project & Performance Safety Program

Email: [email protected]

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Safety in performance and other visual art projects extends to cast, crew and audience members as well as to the environment. This includes interior and exterior rehearsal and performance spaces, whether on or off Brown’s campus, in shops and at all other project and activity sites. It requires that everyone involved be an active part of a creative culture that counts safety as a top priority.

Aerial ArtsAerial Arts

The goal of the Student Activity Office (SAO) and Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) Safety Program for UCS-recognized groups is to ensure that a safe, healthy environment is maintained at all times during each stage of every project and activity. This includes assessing and managing risks inherently associated with creative, artistic and performance development. Many of the processes, techniques, materials and practices used in the performing arts and other visual art projects pose potential hazards to individuals. These risks can be controlled - and minimized - through vigilance, proper training, thorough planning, safe use of appropriate equipment, guidance and mentoring by trained students and professional staff, and adherence to best practices for accomplishing all of the myriad tasks involved.

 Musical Forum: (c) Liber Brunensis 2018Musical Forum: (c) Liber Brunensis 2018

Resources available here are divided into categories below to assist student groups and group members with assessing and managing performing and visual art risks.

Review, Requirements and Oversight

Document Requirements
Performance and Visual Arts Safety Planning Form to be completed and submitted to [email protected] for all performance and visual art projects and activities (for film and video see below)

Student Video Project Safety Planning Form

Video and Film Oversight, Protocol and Safety

to be completed and submitted to [email protected] for all video and film projects and activities

to be reviewed and adhered to, by all student organization members working on student group video and film projects and activities

Event Registration Request Form for each project or event
Fire Safety for Events Checklist for all events with attendance over 50 (cast, crew and audience combined)
Performance Group Form & Liability Waiver to be completed by ALL MEMBERS of student groups (including community members) engaged in physical activity

Group Specific Requirements

Single-page summaries of group-specific requirements for those organizations regularly involved in production, shop work and other activities with acknowledged inherent risks

Brown Aerial Arts & Acrobatics Requirements
Alumnae Hall Advisory Board (AHAB) Requirements
Brown Opera Productions (BOP) Requirements
Ensemble! Theatre at Brown Requirements
Chinese Drama Society Requirements
Musical Forum (MF) Requirements
Poler Bears Requirements
Production Workshop (PW) Requirements
Shakespeare on the Green (SotG) Requirements


Document Description
EHS Performing & Visual Arts Safety Program primary reference document from Brown University EHS for performance and visual art safety 
Alumnae Hall Advisory Board (AHAB) Safety Manual for following safe procedures at venues overseen by the SAO for student groups and shared use
TF Green Workshop Safety Procedures for following safe procedures at venues overseen by the SAO for student groups and shared use
Aerial Arts & Acrobatics Safety Manual group-specific safety manual for organization that calls for unusual or especially comprehensive safety protocols

General information about SAO- and EHS-required safety training:


  • Training is a key component of Brown’s performing and visual art safety program
  • May include general or specific safety topics
  • Required for student groups engaged in performance both on and off campus
  • Can be scheduled by groups in cooperation with SAO and EHS
  • Records are kept by EHS and SAO for all students who receive training in EHS and SAO sessions
  • Some student groups are required to keep their own internal training records

Student Group Training Requirements

  • A table listing EHS and other safety training mandated by the SAO and EHS for student groups, including training required for all or for specific group members. The training requirements of this program will be dictated by the level of involvement and type of performance or visual art display

Student Group Training Info & Schedule

  • A table with additional information about schedules and frequency of safety training.

Brief descriptions of various safety training components  

Not all training topics are required for all student group members.

Applicable safety trainings may include: 

Training Description
Event Planning 101

introduces both campus partners and best practices for event planning to students transitioning into leadership roles; at least one student group representative must attend one session annually

Party Manager Training online training with information regarding SAO policies and protocol for managing socials, parties, or events with alcohol; required of student leaders working socials/parties annually
Emergency Action Plan Training provides basic emergency information in the event of a fire or other emergency situations
Fire Extinguisher Training optional hands-on training exercise for use of a fire extinguisher
Hazard Communication Training  provides information on safe handling and use of hazardous substances as required by OSHA and RIDLT
Hazardous Waste Training provides hazardous waste management procedures
Hot Work Training required when welding, soldering or other hot work is to be done; provides information on how to conduct hot work and obtain permits
Machine Safety Training provides basic procedures and requirements, along with best management practices for safe machine operation as required by OSHA
Ladder Safety Training provides basic training for safe use of a ladder
Scaffold Safety Training provides the competent person with information on safety elements for proper assembly, dismantling and inspection of scaffold
Aerial Work Platform Operator Training & Certification provides aerial work platform certified operator and safe use training with a hands-on component and class
Aerial Work Platform Ground Support Personnel/Occupant Safety Training provides students with hands-on training for supporting a certified aerial work platform operator from the ground, or for safely accompanying a certified aerial work platform operator aloft when allowed by the equipment. Required to be present whenever a certified operator is aloft using an aerial work platform
Student Group Safety Training provides an overview of this program’s requirements regarding set building or other construction related projects
TF Green Shop User Safety Training provides students who wish to use power tools in the TF Green Shop with hands-on safety training *provided by Brown Design Workshop

 How and when groups/students should take advantage of safety training opportunities

  • General safety training sessions are held at the beginning of each semester and need to be taken once per year
  • Safety training on specific topics are held regularly throughout the academic year; most need to be taken once per year
  • Contact SAO and EHS at: [email protected] for details and the current schedule
  • Any student joining an organization mid-year or mid-semester is required to take the general safety training session which is held immediately after becoming a member 
  • Students who are members of more than one organization concurrently need to take any specific safety training topics only once per year to cover all their affiliations

Read on for details about shop-specific safety training.

Shop, Tool and Workspace Safety

Document Description
Tool and Shop Use Safety Agreement for Students acknowledgement of students' responsibilities and assumption of risk when using tools and shops at Brown, includes tool training record for students
TF Green/Production Workshop Shop Rules rules and regulations for safe shop use
John Street Studio Shop Rules rules and regulations for safe shop use
Machine Authorization Form required for users of all shops


There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes to make student-run performance at Brown University work, and every person involved in it plays a part in ensuring that projects are both successful and safe for participants and audiences. The key elements are effective organization, timely and ample planning as part of a well conceived process, and trained, vigilant key team members. In student-run performance at Brown, there are certain production team positions – the Production Manager (PM), Stage Manager, Technical Director (TD) and Lighting Designer (LD) - who, due to their roles, are intimately involved in ensuring the safety of projects. Since mounting a performance is inevitably a collaborative process, it is valuable to understand how organization and planning, along with those key positions, shape student-run performance project safety at Brown. In addition, Brown University and the SAO provide student-run performance groups with a variety of resources to aid in making performance projects accessible, safe and successful.

Job Descriptions

Emergency Response, Accidents and Injuries

In the case of any emergency (police/fire/medical/chemical) call (401)-863-4111 immediately.

Emergencies Within a Building - Evacuate the area using the nearest exit if an emergency takes place within a building, and the building is no longer safe to occupy. Once outside, proceed to the designated evacuation location, as listed on the Environmental Health & Safety website and notify the Department of Public Safety (DPS) by calling 401-863-4111. Remain at the evacuation location and inform first responders of the details of the incident once they have arrived.

Facilities Service Response – Non - emergency building-related concerns (electrical, plumbing, mechanical, custodial) are addressed by FM through their Service Response system. Contact Service Response: (401) 863-7800

Production Workshop: (c) Liber Brunensis 2018Production Workshop: (c) Liber Brunensis 2018

At Brown, SAO and EHS collaborate with student groups to develop and improve these safety resources and oversight methods. One part of building a sustainable culture of safety from this collaboration is recognizing that everyone involved is responsible for identifying, understanding and managing the hazards associated with performing and visual art activities. Assistance from SAO and EHS for minimizing these risks is always available to students and student groups by request.  In addition, regular site visits by EHS, SAO and Fire Safety give student groups opportunities to work closely with and learn from trained, experienced professionals to avoid, manage and address any safety concerns that may arise. 

Last updated 7/27/2020