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Risk Assessments

Musicians come across Risk Assessment (RA) either as an employee, when the employer has to do a RA, or as a freelance/self-employed player asked for a RA by a venue or producer.

Last updated: 24 November 2020

Workplace Risk Assessments must currently be COVID-19 specific

This includes workplace stress risk assessments, ventilation risk assessments. The key elements of this are distancing (including at your work station, access around building, breakout areas), the cleaning regime for the venue, handling of equipment and music, and finally ventilation which is a key in dictating how many people can be in the same room, for how long, how frequent air changes need to be etc. This should encompass many details including the cubic capacity of the areas being used and the specific ventilation being used, flow rates, renewal rates etc. This critical factor requires a complete technical report signed off by a qualified person. There needs to an integrated mitigation approach which requires balance between different measures (e.g. ventilation and distancing). The DCMS have acknowledged that as a major part of the risk management process. We have seen a number of Risk Assessments that use a Risk Matrix. This is not useful in dealing with Covid and is an unreliable set of arbitrary figures which give a spurious exactitude to the situation. At this point with Covid it is necessary to apply all mitigating measures as far as possible and not have any assumptions about the behaviour of Covid, except where backed up by established scientific research.

These are two different routes and have to be treated separately depending if you are an employed or a freelance musician.

Online Interactive Risk Assessment (OiRA) tool

If you want to look at things in more detail, or get guidance on the sorts of problems that can arise, you can use the free Online Interactive Risk Assessment (OiRA) tool.

This tool was developed for the entertainment/music sector involving all sides, including the unions.

It shows you the range of problems that may need to be considered. It is also a good refresher if you have done an RA before, and user friendly.

You can look at it as much or as little as you choose – you don’t have to do every part of it, just those you are concerned with. It is also something you can refer venues or producers to look at if they need assistance in meeting their obligations.

This is your own RA to help you and those you work with. What you need to supply to those booking you is covered next.

Organising your own event

If you are organising an event or production, or are involved in any way, then the OiRA tool is an excellent introduction and guide for what you need to do.

The principal aim of the tool is to help small productions know what they need to cover.

The tool results are particularly useful for touring events as the results apply to the requirements in all European Community countries (and set out standards that will assist anywhere in the world.)

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