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World Health Organisation General Information

  • Speed and scale: the disease has spread quickly to all corners of the world, and its capacity for explosive spread has overwhelmed even the most resilient health systems (figure 1

  • Severity: overall 20% of cases are severe or critical, with a crude clinical case fatality rate currently of over 3%, increasing in older age groups and in those with certain underlying conditions. 40% of cases will experience moderate disease including pneumonia

  • COVID‐19 is a new disease, distinct from other diseases caused by coronaviruses, such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). The virus spreads rapidly, and outbreaks can grow at an exponential rate. At present, there are no therapeutics or vaccines proven to treat or prevent COVID‐19.

  • Individuals must protect themselves and others by adopting behaviours such as washing hands, avoiding touching their face, practicing good respiratory etiquette, individual level distancing, isolating in a community facility or at home if they are sick, identifying themselves as a contact of a confirmed case when appropriate, and cooperating with physical distancing measures and movement restrictions when called on to do so.

  • Without careful planning, and in the absence of scaled up public health and clinical care capacities, the premature lifting of physical distancing measures is likely to lead to an uncontrolled resurgence in COVID-19 transmission and an amplified second wave of cases.

  • Stopping the spread of COVID-19 requires finding and testing all suspected cases so that confirmed cases are promptly and effectively isolated and receive appropriate care, and the close contacts of all confirmed cases are rapidly identified so that they can be quarantined and medically monitored for the 14-day incubation period7 of the virus.

  • In addition to active case finding in communities, health facilities, and at points of entry, it will be necessary to enable the general population to practice self-surveillance, in which individuals are asked to self-report as a suspected case as soon as they have symptoms or signs and/or if they are a contact of a confirmed case.

European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control – An agency of the European Union:

  • There is not enough epidemiological information at this time to determine how easily this virus spreads between people, but it is currently estimated that, on average, one infected person will infect between two and three other people.

  • The virus seems to be transmitted mainly via small respiratory droplets through sneezing, coughing, or when people interact with each other for some time in close proximity (usually less than one metre). These droplets can then be inhaled, or they can land on surfaces that others may come into contact with, who can then get infected when they touch their nose, mouth or eyes. The virus can survive on different surfaces from several hours (copper, cardboard) up to a few days (plastic and stainless steel). However, the amount of viable virus declines over time and may not always be present in sufficient numbers to cause infection.

  • The incubation period for COVID-19 (i.e. the time between exposure to the virus and onset of symptoms) is currently estimated to be between one and 14 days.

  • We know that the virus can be transmitted when people who are infected show symptoms such as coughing. There is also some evidence suggesting that transmission can occur from a person that is infected even two days before showing symptoms; however, uncertainties remain about the effect of transmission by asymptomatic persons.

  • The infectious period may begin one to two days before symptoms appear, but people are likely most infectious during the symptomatic period, even if symptoms are mild and very non-specific. The infectious period is now estimated to last for 7-12 days in moderate cases and up to two weeks on average in severe cases.

  • Symptoms of COVID-19 vary in severity from having no symptoms at all (being asymptomatic) to having fever, cough, sore throat, general weakness and fatigue and muscular pain and in the most severe cases, severe pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome, sepsis and septic shock, all potentially leading to death. Reports show that clinical deterioration can occur rapidly, often during the second week of disease.

  • Recently, anosmia – loss of the sense of smell – (and in some cases the loss of the sense of taste) have been reported as a symptom of a COVID-19 infection. There is already evidence from South Korea, China and Italy that patients with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection have developed anosmia/hyposmia, in some cases in the absence of any other symptoms.

  • Physical distancing aims to reduce physical contact between potentially infected people and healthy people, or between population groups with high rates of transmission and others with low or no level of transmission. The objective of this is to decrease or interrupt the spread of COVID-19.

  • If you are infected, the use of surgical face masks may reduce the risk of you infecting other people. On the other hand there is no evidence that face masks will effectively prevent you from becoming infected with the virus. In fact, it is possible that the use of face masks may even increase the risk of infection due to a false sense of security and increased contact between hands, mouth and eyes while wearing them. The inappropriate use of masks also may increase the risk of infection.

  • Exercising poses a potential risk from SARS-CoV-2 infection to athletes and coaches. This is particularly an issue in settings where athletes train in groups, engage in contact sports, share equipment or use common areas, including locker rooms. Community and individual-level recreational sport activities could also potentially heighten the risk of spreading coronavirus. Transmission could occur through person-to-person contact, exposure to a common source, or aerosols/droplets from an infected individual. Nevertheless, in light of the benefits of regular physical activity to physical and mental health it is important to remain active during the COVID-19 pandemic while respecting physical distancing and personal hygiene recommendations.

What the World Health Organisation say when it comes to the workplace:

  • Severity: overall 20% of cases are severe or critical, with a crude clinical case fatality rate currently of over 3%, increasing in older age groups and in those with certain underlying conditions. 40% of cases will experience moderate disease including pneumonia

  • The virus spreads rapidly, and outbreaks can grow at an exponential rate. At present, there are no therapeutics or vaccines proven to treat or prevent COVID‐19

  • Individuals must protect themselves and others by adopting behaviours such as washing hands, avoiding touching their face, practicing good respiratory etiquette, individual level distancing, isolating in a community facility or at home if they are sick, identifying themselves as a contact of a confirmed case when appropriate, and cooperating with physical distancing measures and movement restrictions when called on to do so.

  • Make sure your workplaces are clean and hygienic with disinfectant regularly Because contamination on surfaces touched by employees and customers is one of the main ways that COVID-19 spreads.

  • When someone who has COVID-19 coughs or exhales they release droplets of infected fluid. Most of these droplets fall on nearby surfaces and objects, such as desks, tables or telephones. People could catch COVID-19 by touching contaminated surfaces or objects, and then touching their eyes, nose, or mouth. If they are standing within 1 meter of a person with COVID-19 they can catch it by breathing in droplets coughed out or exhaled by them.

  • Ensure that face masks or paper tissues are available at your workplaces, for those who develop a runny nose or cough at work, along with closed bins for hygienically disposing of them

  • Identify a room or area where someone who is feeling unwell or has symptoms can be safely isolated

  • Have a plan for how they can be safely transferred from there to a health facility.

  • Encourage participants to cover their face with the bend of their elbow or a tissue if they cough or sneeze. Supply tissues and closed bins for disposal.

  • Retain the names and contact details of all participants for at least one month. This will help public health authorities trace people who may have been exposed to COVID-19 if one or more participants become ill shortly after the event.

  • If someone at the meeting or event was isolated as a suspected COVID-19 case, the organizer should inform participants. They should be advised to monitor themselves for symptoms for 14 days and take their temperature twice a day.    If they develop even a mild cough or low-grade fever (i.e. a temperature of 37.3 C or more) they should stay at home and self-isolate. This means avoiding close contact (less than 1 meter) with other people, including family members. They should also call their health care provider or the local public health department, giving them details of their recent travel and symptoms.

  • Consider issuing employees who are about to travel with small bottles of alcohol-based hand rub. This can facilitate regular hand-washing.

Virus Protection For Construction Periods – Fit Ups, Get Outs, Strikes

All advice given in this document is the opinion of Pirate Crew Management – We have held many positions in the industry – Technicians, Stage Management, Flyman, Carpenters, Technical Managers, Riggers, Production Managers, Workforce Managers.  As such we are in a position to express a view of how we feel the industry might move forward and we can do so whilst taking into account the needs of all departments, contractors, venues and producers.  Please see the below guides are an invite for discussion and collaboration. We don’t pretend to know it all….

It will be a miracle if and when we get back to work proper. We should be eternally grateful when we do and this should lead us to be the guiding standard when it comes for keeping safe and managing the spread of this disease.  At the same time any policies should be taken with consideration of normal health and safety practices. Where the two conflict, or when social distancing itself creates a hazard, supervisors should speak openly with the personnel to solve the problem, to tackle the job whilst mitigating the risk.  An open dialogue, involvement from and respect for all parties, is the only way that these new, radical policies will be consistently adhered to. If we generate policies on paper only, that are often ignored, then we have no right to be upset with anyone but ourselves should this situation arise again.


Creation and Separation of departments and sub departments

  • All effort should be made in planning and implementation to limit or eliminate cross department working, therefore mitigating contact between groups of people and containing risk to a smaller number of people.

  • If it’s possible to go further and create sub groups or working partners then this is strongly advised.

  • Names of each individual within the groups to be documented in the Production/CDM/Contractors own file. If change occurs with personnel moving from one group to another then this should also be documented.

  • Each working group should work entirely separately from all others.

  • Overlapping shifts where new personnel join existing Work Groups should be eliminated or at least thoroughly considered.

  • Each department or group should have a leader that, along with normal supervisory duties, is responsible for the groups distancing within their own group and from other working groups.

  • Supervisors should be responsible for ensuring individuals do not touch their own face during proceedings and for administering discipline for not following the rules.

  • The Supervisor is solely responsible for communicating with other departments.

  • Each supervisor is responsible for checking that hands have been cleaned, after every break or a Potential Contamination Event (PCE) (We like acronyms)

  • Any unified working between departments should follow normal distancing rules where possible. Any PCE should be noted and documented by the supervisors.

  • If at all possible, equipment handles and lifting points should be disinfected when passed from one department to another, i.e. Loading team to Sound Department, or by a working g group, using their own cleaning kit, once they have stopped using the equipment.

  • All departments should carry their own Cleaning Kit – managed by Supervisors or responsible person.


Production/Technical Manager or nominated person will have to collect information for all persons involved in the build or strike periods. If person supplied has been booked through an agency, supply company or other contractor, then that company should store this information:

  • Full name

  • Dates working onsite

  • Contact email Address

  • Working group (if known at time of form being filled)

  • Tel Number

  • How the person travelled to work that day

  • How the person is planning to get home after work.

  • Confirmation that the person does not have any of the symptoms of Covid-19:

      • Persistent Cough

      • Fever/High Temperature

      • Difficulty breathing

      • Headache

      • Myalgia (Muscle aches)

      • Potential loss of smell

      • Conjunctivitis

      • Fatigue


  • Confirmation that the person is not taking pain relief and if they are they specify what for

  • Confirmation that they have not been in contact with persons suspected of having the symptoms of Covid-19

  • Declaration that they will adhere to on site social distancing and PPE rules or risk being removed without pay

This information can easily be formulated by use of an online form (Google/Zoho/Microsoft forms etc) for the persons to self certify. QR codes can be displayed at Reception and other places that are a direct link to the form that persons can fill out on their phone. This is also a convenient time to describe all the rules of the production period.


  • To avoid the sharing of hygiene stations between many people, more toilets in the venue either backstage or FOH should be made available to the technical departments than perhaps has been normal practice. Venues should consider assigning toilets to specific working groups.

  • Extra space should be provided to store bicycles of personnel, so that we discourage use of public transport.

  • Arrangement should be made for all personnel to be able to eat in the auditorium or foyer, the key function being spatial distancing, encouragement of preparing own meals and discouragement of frequenting busy public spaces during work time.

  • Hand washing/sanitising stations should be provided as well as cleaning kits for specific equipment e.g. Tallescopes, control desks, prompt desks etc

  • Serious consideration and avoidance of using anything on a communal basis.

  • Seriously consider an elected person to be a responsible cleaner of operational and door handles.

  • Temperature in working areas to be controlled as much as possible (not just practicable) to mitigate persons needing to touch faces to wipe off sweat.

  • Air flow and ventilation to be maximised as much as is possible.

  • Water Machines should be made readily available for all who enter a venue. The pour handles should be disinfected regularly and thought should be given to designating machines to particular groups, similar to toilet/restroom provision.

  • Theatre technicians have plenty of contact with the floor during the construction process – the Stage Floor surface should be cleaned and disinfected at end of day and mop heads put in ‘quarantine’ until laundered.  Here’s what the British Institute of Cleaning Science has to say about mop use in hospitals, in a published paper by Scientific Experts on the matter (

  • Mops and reusable cleaning – cloths are regularly used to achieve low-level disinfection on environmental surfaces. However, they often are not adequately cleaned and disinfected, and if the water-disinfectant mixture is not changed regularly (e.g., after every three to four rooms, at no longer than 60-minute intervals), the mopping procedure actually can spread heavy microbial contamination throughout the health-care facility. In one study, standard laundering provided acceptable decontamination of heavily contaminated mop heads but chemical disinfection with a phenolic was less effective. Frequent laundering of mops (e.g., daily), therefore, is recommended.

  • Venues should invest in thermal cameras that can measure body temperature of persons as they pass the lens. Thus negating shared use of thermometers which would need to be continuously dis-infected.


  • Every part of the working day will be needed to change – don’t fight it or try to escape your duties. We’re in this together for the long haul.

  • The amount of wiping and washing will get boring – but get used to it. The quicker we make it routine the sooner it stops being a distraction to the actual work.

  • Wear clean clothes to work everyday and observe good hygiene in general.

  • Each time you clean your hands, do it thoroughly for 20 seconds with soap.

  • Wash or disinfect all PPE including work boots.

  • You should arrive at the venue with your own bottle of water/drink clearly marked with their initials or name so not to get confused with anyone else’s.

  • Like other aspects of Health and Safety, you are responsible for your own Health and that of everyone around you. Don’t forget it.

  • Higher paid staff are not exempt from cleaning duties, nor should lower paid staff be abused and forced to clean areas in which they have not worked.

  • Your method of travel to the job should be considered to avoid the spread of the virus. Actively avoid busy public transport carriages. Take a walk or cycle whenever possible – though don’t be late or your rush to work might give you a faux temperature reading when you arrive!

  • Adhere to the venue rules. They will vary greatly from building to building due to physical aspects and management differences of interpretation in distancing, but they all come from a place of protection of individuals and the industry.

  • Do not borrow or share tools

  • Do not share your phone

  • Do not borrow or share PPE

  • Do not touch your face. If you have an itch try to scratch it with your upper arm or shoulder.

  • Don’t touch anything unless you need to touch it.

  • When you do need to touch something, touch it as little as possible.

  • If you need to cough or sneeze, cover your mouth with your inner elbow and do your best to stand away from others until you do.

  • Phones should be put away and not used unless absolutely needed to do so. If you do use it, clean it when you wash your hands.

  • When idle or waiting for the next task; be proactive in your self distancing from other personnel.

  • If you see other personnel touching their face or ignoring social distancing rules – remind them. If the person continuously flouts the rules, report this directly and immediately to your supervisor, or in the event that your supervisor is the culprit, report to the Technical or Production Manager.

  • If you do not adhere to or openly flout the rules, you will be sent home, unpaid.

  • If you have any of the symptoms of the Virus and turn up to work, you are endangering the livelihoods and health of everyone you come into contact with. Tell your supervisor at the earliest possible moment that you can not come to work, stay home and self isolate.

  • Face coverings should be worn in scenarios of work involving confined spaces. But do not let this give you a false sense of security regarding your own health or risk of contact with the virus. Research shows that people wearing masks are more reckless with the rules.

  • Don’t touch a face covering or mask once it’s adorned.

  • Wash your hands, thoroughly:

    • Before leaving for work

    • Upon entry to the building (in designated washing facility

    • Before each work period start

    • At the end of each work period

    • After each Potential Contamination Event:

      • Working alongside other personnel not part of your working group

      • A period of high tempo/fast/hard physical activity

      • When in the presence of someone actively displaying symptoms

      • A job involving facing another person or working in close proximity

  • The end of your work does not mean the end of your shift – you still need to:

    • Contribute to the cleaning of surfaces (ask supervisor)

    • Wash your own hands

    • Dispose of your face mask if applicable

    • Tidy all work areas under your control

    • Inform Supervisor if your health has deteriorated through the day/Confirm in good health.


Every Venue and Production should make plans for when a person suddenly falls ill, or shows some symptoms of the virus which should include:

  • Quickly getting them a face mask, to wash their hands and then gather their belongings

  • Assign a segregated room for which to put sick persons whilst they wait.

  • A taxi company willing to take the person home

  • Nominated person (wearing face mask) to reinterview the person regarding their


  • The reception area should contain multiple cleaning kits. Their maintenance and daily inventory checks should be held in as high a regard as any other equipment.

  • All persons entering the venue should have their temperature measured, ideally by a thermal camera.

  • If a person measures a temperature of over 38 C, then that the person should not be allowed onsite. Take into consideration that they may have been rushing to get to work, so any high reading below 40C should be retested after ten minutes if this is the case.

  • Hand sanitising station to be available at the entrance, ideally outside.

  • Consider social distancing 2 metre marks outside the stage door area, clear enough for people to realise where to stand before entry.

  • Signs that state that close contact is not allowed outside the stage door and that anyone monitored to have floated the rules will not be eligible to enter the building that day.

  • In small reception areas – 1 Out/Through 1 In policy

  • Stage Door sign in – Show ID or Name Badge – Stage door keeper to write names in and out (so be available to do so) – no use of communal pens.

  • Stage Door keeper to record/tick off if the person understands that the work today will involve social distancing.

  • Stage Door keeper should check that the person does not feel unwell. If they have cold symptoms or a cough, entry should be refused without question.

  • Stage Door keepers should be knowledgeable about places of designated use for each department and should ensure that every person entering the building is absolutely sure of their destination and how to navigate to it.

  • Maps and diagrams should be displayed with directions to where each person needs to go – most direct route is best.

  • Stage door keeper should be aware of the areas that are restricted to particular contractors and ensure that information is conveyed and displayed.

  • Stage Door should contain disposable face masks for use by contractors should the need arise and they not have brought one of their own.

  • Stage door area – only one person behind the counter at any one time. Theatres to implement glass door barriers wherever possible. Stage door area should act as a thoroughfare only – not a holding point.

  • Stage door keeper or similar person to clean backstage door handles periodically.


  • Wearing of Face Masks for normal work has not been recommended by any health organisation, other than for medical use or for persons already infected, so to stop further spread. It is suggested that the wearing of masks can also present an increased danger due to a persons habits when they feel a false sense of security.

  • We recommend use of face coverings in the following situations:

    • On trailer loading and unloading

    • Work in confined spaces with others

    • Work up ladders/access equipment/when working above others

    • When facing another person whilst working or carrying.

  • There is no evidence to support that the use Gloves will help reduce infection rates – let individuals decide on their level of hand protection unless the job specifically warrants it under normal H&S.

  • All PPE must be for one user only. Ideally all PPE would be personally owned and brought to site. PPE provided to persons by the venue should be safely stowed away where no other person can access them.

  • Communal PPE should be eliminated as a concept where possible

  • If communal PPE is required to run a venue, e.g. having spare hard hats for incoming staff, then this PPE should be stored away after being disinfected, all numbered and managed for distribution.

  • Communal hard hats should be hard plastic only – fabric straps are far more difficult to disinfect.


  • Persons touching their face should be reminded of their duty of care – consider making a game – set a difficult challenge or boring job for anyone caught touching their face or flouting the rules in other ways.

  • Venue and Contractors are equally responsible for cleaning at the start and end of working periods, especially at the start and the end of the day – plan time for this in your work.

  • Your team should wear face coverings when working close to others and in confined spaces. Use of face masks should be limited to these situations, as there is little proof currently that they would act as an effective barrier to prevent illness in normal situations.

  • Your team should not share hand tools or PPE

  • Equipment and scenery sharing should be acknowledged and approached positively with management for distancing

  • As usual, monitor your team’s wellbeing, Personnel in your team may become hotter than usual because of their face masks and potential increased use of gloves.

  • Phones are a major risk for contamination as they carry germs from hand to face. As such they are to be used only when needed, only without touching them to face and wiping them clean should be considered part of the washing hands ritual.

  • Your team should have its own cleaning kit within easy reach.

  • Consider making one person responsible for equipment wipe downs, but always instil in your team that all of the work force are responsible for general cleaning of work areas, including you.

  • Your team should disinfect any communal equipment before and after use.

  • Ensure your team has all had their temperature taken and filled out any venue/production forms prior to work start.

  • Take steps and plans to limit double handling of equipment.

  • Supervisors to check cleanliness of hands periodically – no exceptions

  • However hard to do, try for consistency wherever possible regarding who touches what equipment or scenery.

  • Try to keep the individuals apart or at least work in pairs. The goal is for people to stay working with the same people as much as possible.


  • Toilets should be cleaned and disinfected throughout the day.

  • Cleaning at the start and end of shifts – departmental – Venue, tech departments & Contractors equally responsible

  • Production Managers and others that have the need to frequent phone calls should consider a bluetooth earpiece and Mic combo that is easily cleaned and which stays in the ear for the duration.

  • All staff or the companies they work for should be contacted by phone or text at 1 week and 2 week intervals after the working period to confirm lack of symptoms.

  • If symptoms have arisen amongst any of the personnel, Production Manager or nominated person to systematically organise the notification and checks of all other staff, starting with the unwell person’s working group.

  • However difficult – try to organise times at which different departments can use the same physical space at separate times.

  • Staggered call times and 24 hour working could also be considered where possible to further split the working groups, although this could increase the need for meeting s and CDM toolbox talks

  • Consider budgeting and preparing for back up staff should personnel fall ill.

  • Consider moving start and finish times out of peak travel periods, where possible.

  • Non essential staff or visitors not involved with the construction process should be discouraged from attending.

  • Visits by interested parties including those working for the producers should be managed and scheduled.

  • Frequently used equipment should have a dedicated cleaning kit:

    • Tallescopes & Ladders

    • Operating Desks

    • Prompt Desk

    • Mic Rack

    • Counterweight Flys Brake Handles

    • Lift Controls

    • Hoist Controls

    • Followspots

    • Busy Doors

    • Dock Door opening chains

  • A lot of these points are now covered in the official advice from the Construction Leadership Council and as we fall under CDM then we should take heed from this also:



Discussions regarding work including problem solving and strategy should follow normal distancing where practicable. Especially important in this instance will be to limit the number of persons involved in each discussion to essential staff only.

  • Only persons essential to having an input into the discussions of strategy and problem solving should be in attendance, and all at social distance unless it is absolutely unavoidable.

  • Senior Supervisors should be sure to include and nominate the inclusion of persons who are vital to the task result, thus avoiding having a second meeting

  • To further mitigate successive meetings, Supervisors and Managers should consider involving those personnel who the works may affect in any way.

  • Non essential staff should not feel inclined to input but stay completely away from the conversation and be patient to receive news of any decision made. Any input would only ever lead to unnecessary raised voices.

  • Efforts should be made to limit the number of meetings. A good strategy is to save a list of items to discuss to hit all at once. Other strategies involve ensuring the right people are present.

  • Information or plans that need to be delivered to the entire workforce should be done all at one time with the logic that it is far easier to control one large meeting than several micro ones.

  • Consideration should be made towards having scheduled and placed meetings that everyone knows about, so that task issues can be spoken about at once and the areas can be prepped for SDP (Social Distancing Policies)


As per any other meeting, this kind of group discussion should be kept to a minimum and adhere to distancing rules. If available, seat the departments in their own area of the auditorium, with the CDM leader speaking from the stage.

The CDM Tool box talk should now include all of the SDP (Social Distancing Policies) Contamination Mitigation Measures, conveyed to all of the contractors and staff involved.

To include (In addition to the normal matters of concern):

  • Use of PPE

  • Permitted working zones for each department

  • Toilets for use for each department – multiple toilets should be used and assigned to groups, to minimise contamination between depts.

  • Supervisors and Hierarchy of control

  • Methods of communication

  • Check on PPE – Face Coverings – gloves – Helmets

  • Designation of Rooms for belongings

  • Location of room for persons feeling unwell and procedure for getting them home

  • Location of spare face masks

  • Location of Water supply to fill up personal water bottles including designation if the water supplies are split between working groups

  • Clear schedule and geography of works to ensure separation of departments.

  • Ensuring each person knows where they and their working group are permitted or not permitted to go

  • Nominated person to notify and the procedure in place, if a person appears or feels sick or unwell.

  • Reaffirmation that everyone in the room is fit for work and not feeling unwell, or been in contact with unwell persons.

  • Check if there is anyone whose temperature has not been taken

  • Q & A highlighting all the potential distancing issues of the day and how they will be managed

  • A reminder that despite our respect for one another, shaking hands is not possible. This could be a chance to get everyone on board with a humorous alternative that does not involve contact.

  • Allow for time in the schedule at the end of the day to clean the room, scenery and equipment, especially where personnel are likely to place their hands.


  • Should be more readily available during the fit up or strike periods to encourage distance communication, wherever possible between departments

  • More radio channels to be made available for the construction process

  • Shouldn’t be used without first being disinfected

  • Should be disinfected on return to base


  • Are used by most departments, often one immediately after the other, so are a high risk for contamination to skin

  • Of particular risk is the bottom push bars and surrounding struts

  • Should have their own disinfectant and hand cleaning kit. In the case of ladders, which should always be safely stored away after use, the cleaning kit can be stored in the Ladder storage area.

  • Should be cleaned before use by new personnel and after use has finished

  • Same universal rule applies – touch as few places as possible and never the face.

  • Time spent at the bottom of a ladder or telescope can be tiresome at which moments a lack of concentration can manifest. Individuals should stay alert and supervisors check on the wellbeing of staff to ensure the rules are being adhered to.


As usual – the driver or loadmaster is responsible for opening the door to the trailer and removing load bars. It is highly impractical, almost impossible and highly hazardous to apply distancing rules to Loading and Unloading trailers. Minimising the number of persons required for manual handling eliminates too much margin of error and will undoubtedly lead to manual handling injuries.

In addition, it is presently unknown how long Covid-19 can last on a surface, or whether temperature or type of surface are variables in this equation. This means that the equipment on the container could already be contaminated from the previous venue staff, who may or may not have stringent measures in place.

This means that all other measures should be considered and implemented to combat the risks of person to person contamination.

  • The Loading and Unload personnel should be kept as one team with minimal contact with other departments.

  • Wearing of face coverings should be considered for trailer unloading due to the close proximity to others, confined space and potential for accidental sharing of body liquid.

  • Face masks and gloves will restrict a person’s ability to release body heat, meaning that they may become hot and out of breath far sooner than normal. Anyone showing signs of fatigue should be swapped out temporarily and asked to drink water. Exhaustion will only cause a lapse in standards and increased risk of accidents.

  • The loading area should be completely controlled and public entirely separated by barriers, ideally with 2 metres of redundant no work space on the perimeter.

  • Distancing to take place in periods of inactivity or waiting times.

  • Communicating lifts between partners and groups should be done with the mouth pointed away from other persons as best as possible.

  • Careful consideration to be given to items that make body contact unavoidable – is there another way to move the item?

  • The ethos that items should be handled as little as possible to mitigate manual handling injuries, the same for touching the scenery and equipment to avoid contamination – do it as little as possible!

  • The Loading Team will be a potential higher risk due to the fact that they will handle most of the equipment for all departments and their close proximity with each other. As such they should be priority of access to nearby washing facilities and water supply. They should also be on the priority contact list, after the works, for checks on health.

This document is far from conclusive and there are many more questions and issues that need tackling but hopefully this will serve as a starting point for communal conversation, as talking is one of the last communal acts we can perform whilst in lockdown!



We’ll obviously be given much of the advice above to our beloved crew. We’ll also help them understand that they will probably be the most at risk group given the diverse nature or their roles and many different departments and venues they are asked to work with.

We’ll advise them that we hope that whatever job they go to, their wellbeing will be respected equally to all the other contractors and venue employees. We know this to have not been true in the past but it must be this way moving forward.

We’ll manage the work force as per the above guidance and also:

  • Keep working teams together as much as possible during the working week to reduce the risk of contamination

  • Actively record events that go against this

  • Actively discourage use of public transport especially in peak times

  • Endeavour to pick persons located closest to venue wherever possible

  • Keep constant checks on individual’s wellbeing including early warning on the day of work if the person feels unwell or has been in contact with unwell persons

  • Ensure persons have their own PPE as standard and own tools

  • Train our supervisors on best practice for managing hygiene and distancing

  • Include Virus Mitigation notes as a part of the daily Senior Tech reports

  • Reduce the number of people travelling in cars together

  • Retrieve venue and production policies prior to date to ensure we fall in line with client requirements and disseminate to the crew

  • Retrieve as accurate as possible working schedules and expected group types and numbers to plan ahead with distancing