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Application of Industrial and Construction Regulations
Safety Guideline for the Live Performance Industry in Ontario

Disclaimer: This resource has been prepared to help the workplace parties understand some of their obligations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and regulations. It is not legal advice. It is not intended to replace the OHSA or the regulations. For further information please see full disclaimer.

Introduction

This guideline is intended to assist constructors, owners, employers, supervisors and workers in the live performance industry to understand when the Industrial Establishments Regulation (Regulation 851) and/or the Construction Projects Regulation (O. Reg. 213/91) may apply to their workplace(s).

Even if a workplace is normally governed by the Industrial Establishments Regulation, the Construction Projects Regulation applies to construction projects that are undertaken within the workplace.

The regulations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) set out minimum legal requirements governing exposure to various health and safety hazards. There will be times when a workplace may want to exceed the minimum requirements set out in the OHSA’s regulations to build a strong health and safety culture.

For general inquiries about the workplace health and safety or to report critical injuries, fatalities or work refusals call the Ministry of Labour (MOL) Contact Centre at 1-877-202-0008.

Definitions

The following definitions are found under subsection 1(1) of the OHSA.

Competent person
“A person who
  • (a) is qualified because of knowledge, training and experience to organize the work and its performance
  • (b) is familiar with the OHSA and its regulations that apply to the work, and
  • (c) has knowledge of any potential or actual danger to health or safety in the workplace” (see section 1(1) of the OHSA).
Construction
“includes erection, alteration, repair, dismantling, demolition, structural maintenance, painting, land clearing, earth moving, grading, excavating, trenching, digging, boring, drilling, blasting, or concreting, the installation of any machinery or plant, and any work or undertaking in connection with a project but does not include any work or undertaking underground in a mine”
Constructor
“A person who undertakes a project for an owner and includes an owner who undertakes all or part of a project by himself or by more than one employer.”
Employer
“A person who employs one or more workers or contracts for the services of one or more workers and includes a contractor or subcontractor who performs work or supplies services and a contractor or subcontractor who undertakes with an owner, constructor, contractor or subcontractor to perform work or supply services.”
Industrial establishment
“An office building, factory, arena, shop or office; and any land, buildings and structures appertaining thereto.”
Owner
“Includes a trustee, receiver, mortgagee in possession, tenant, lessee, or occupier of any lands or premises used or to be used as a workplace, and a person who acts for or on behalf of an owner as an agent or delegate.”
Supervisor
“A person who has charge of a workplace or authority over a worker” (see section 1(1) of the OHSA). In live performance, this could include a production manager, technical director or equivalent.
Worker
“A person who performs work or supplies services for monetary compensation…”

Live performance definitions

Note: These definitions are provided for clarity and guidance for this guideline only and are not definitions found under the OHSA or its regulations.

Act/scene/quick/intermission/interval changes
The moving of production elements during the running or rehearsing of a production.
Best practice
A program, process, method, technique, strategy or activity that:
  • has been shown to be effective in the prevention of workplace injury or illness
  • is based on current information, and
  • is of value to, or transferable to, other organizations.
Changeover
The change of scenery and other elements from that of one production to that of another (typically in a repertory house), which does not involve a load-in or a load-out.
Lighting focus
The focusing and pointing, and possible colouring, of luminaires for a production.
Lighting hang
The placement of luminaires and/or cables for a performance/event.
Load-in or take-in (fit-up, set-up)
The initial delivery and installation of production elements including rigging, automation scenery, electrics, audio, etc. at the rehearsal space or performance/event venue.
Load-out or take-out (strike, tear-down)
The dismantling and removal of production elements including rigging, automation scenery, electrics, audio, etc. from the rehearsal space or performance/event venue.
Performance venue
Any venue or location where a performance takes place, for example:
  • a rental house (road house)
  • a repertory house: a venue that mounts productions on a rotating basis within a season
  • a production house: a venue that produces its own shows.
Re-set
The moving of production elements to prepare the stage for a rehearsal or performance.
Risk assessment
Careful evaluation of all equipment, machinery, work areas and processes to identify potential hazards that workers may be exposed to and assessment of the impact of the identified hazards on those that work in the area. Assessing the risk means determining the likelihood that the hazard may lead to injury or illness and the severity of that potential injury or illness.
Work/maintenance/touch-up calls
A scheduled call, outside of performance times, for notes, maintenance or touch-ups involving any production element(s).

Application

  1. The Occupational Health and Safety Act applies to all “workers” (as defined in the OHSA) in the Live Performance Industry in Ontario whether they are employees, self-employed, on contract or on honorarium. The OHSA applies even when the worker or worker’s company comes from outside the province or country.
  2. The OHSA sets out the duties for all workplace parties including owners, constructors, employers, supervisors and workers. In recognition that employers have the main responsibility to ensure the health and safety of all workers, the OHSA imposes general and specific duties on employers and provides for other duties to be prescribed by regulation. Beyond the requirements of the OHSA, owners/employers in the Live Performance Industry should ensure that the health and safety of all persons at a live performance are protected. This may include having the same policies that have been established for workers apply to visitors, volunteers and children, where appropriate.
  3. Each sector regulation under the OHSA sets out specific regulatory requirements to protect workers from workplace hazards in that sector. Therefore, a specific hazard may be addressed in requirements under both the Construction Projects Regulation and the Industrial Establishments Regulation. The requirements may or may not be exactly the same under each regulation as the requirements are specific to the particular sector. Owners, constructors, employers, supervisors and workers, among others, have an obligation to know and comply with the regulations that apply to their workplace.
  4. The OHSA and its regulations set out minimum standards for all workplace parties to follow to ensure the health and safety of the workers. Prudent employers may go beyond the minimum requirements to build a strong health and safety culture in the live performance industry.
  5. Best practices should be reviewed and modified regularly to assess their validity, accuracy and applicability. They may exceed the requirements of occupational health and safety legislation.

Application of the Construction Projects Regulation

The Construction Projects Regulation applies to all construction projects as defined by the OHSA. Examples of when the Construction Projects Regulation applies to a live performance include: load-ins or take-ins (fit-ups, set-ups), lighting hangs, load-outs or take-outs (tear-downs and strikes).

Application of the Industrial Establishments Regulation

The Industrial Establishments Regulation applies to all industrial establishments as defined by the OHSA. The requirements in the Industrial Establishments Regulation apply to more predictable, stable, repetitive work activities found in scenery, properties or costume shops, in lighting focus sessions, rehearsals, performances, scene changes, changeovers, etc.

Example: Head protection

Construction Projects Regulation

When an activity constitutes “construction” within the meaning of the OHSA, which involves, but is not limited to, load-ins or take-ins (fit-ups, set-ups), lighting hangs, load-outs or take-outs (tear-downs, strikes), the following requirement for head protection in section 22 of the Construction Projects Regulation applies:

  • Section 22:
    (1) Every worker shall wear protective headwear at all times when on a project.
  • (2) Protective headwear shall be a safety hat that,
    • (a) consists of a shell and suspension that is adequate to protect a person’s head against impact and against flying or falling small objects; and
    • (b) has a shell which can withstand a dielectric strength test at 20,000 volts phase to ground.

Industrial Establishments Regulation

When the activity in an industrial establishment involves, but is not limited to, work in scenery, properties or costume shops, in lighting focus sessions, rehearsals, performances, scene changes and changeovers, the following requirement in section 80 of the Industrial Establishments Regulation regarding head protection applies:

  • Section 80:
    A worker exposed to the hazard of head injury shall wear head protection appropriate in the circumstances.

Example

The Risk Assessment for a particular lighting focus session finds that an overhead hazard such as falling tools exposes a worker on the ground to the risk of head injury; therefore, the use of head protection is required to ensure the safety of the workers below. In this example, because the Industrial Establishments Regulation would apply to the focus session, the worker shall wear head protection as per section 80 of that regulation.

Example: Foot protection

Construction Projects Regulation

When the activity involves, but is not limited to, load-ins or take-ins (fit-ups, set-ups), lighting hangs, load-outs or take-outs (tear-downs, strikes), the following requirement for foot protection in section 23 of the Construction Projects Regulation applies:

  • Section 23:
    (1) Every worker shall wear protective footwear at all times when on a project.
  • (2) Protective footwear shall be a safety shoe or safety boot,
    • (a) with a box toe that is adequate to protect the wearer’s toes against injury due to impact and is capable of resisting at least 125 joules impact; and
    • (b) with a sole or insole that is adequate to protect the wearer’s feet against injury due to puncture and is capable of resisting a penetration load of 1.2 kilonewtons when tested with a DIN standard pin.

Industrial Establishments Regulation

When the activity in an industrial establishment involves, but is not limited to, work in scenery, properties or costume shops, in lighting focus sessions, rehearsals, performances, scene changes and changeovers, the following requirement in section 82 of the Industrial Establishments Regulation regarding foot protection applies:

  • Section 82:
    A worker exposed to the hazard of foot injury shall wear foot protection appropriate in the circumstances.

Example

The Risk Assessment for a particular scene change finds that stage crew moving scenery are exposed to the risk of foot injury; therefore, the use of foot protection is required to ensure the safety of the workers. In this example, because the Industrial Establishments Regulation would apply to a scene change, the worker shall wear protective footwear as per section 82 of that regulation.

Registration and Notice of Project

Under section 5 of the Construction Projects Regulation, constructors and employers engaged in a construction project must complete a registration form (Form 1000).

  • Section 5:
    (1) Before beginning work at a project, each constructor and employer engaged in construction shall complete an approved registration form. O. Reg. 145/00, s. 3.
  • (2) The constructor shall ensure that,
    • (a) each employer at the project provides to the constructor a completed approved registration form; and
    • (b) a copy of the employer’s completed form is kept at the project while the employer is working there.

In addition, a Notice of Project is required for certain projects, and may include some activities at live performance venues. No such equivalent requirement exists under the Industrial Establishments Regulation.

A Notice of Project under section 6 of the Construction Projects Regulation is required if the total cost of the labour and materials for a project is expected to exceed $50,000. If in doubt, contact the Ministry of Labour at 1-877-202-0008.

  • Section 6:
    (1) This section applies with respect to a project if,
    • (a) the total cost of labour and materials for the project is expected to exceed $50,000;
  • (2) The constructor shall comply with subsection (3) or (4) before beginning work at the project.
  • (3) The constructor shall complete an approved notification form and file it at the Ministry office located nearest to the project.
  • (4) If the constructor believes that the work at the project will not take more than 14 days, the constructor may provide the relevant information to an inspector at the Ministry office located nearest to the project,
    • (a) by faxing the completed form to the inspector; or
    • (b) by providing the information that would be required to complete the form to the inspector by telephone.

Additional information and an online Electronic Notice of Project are available.

Call toll-free

Call 1-877-202-0008 anytime to report critical injuries, fatalities or work refusals. For general inquiries about workplace health and safety and to report potentially unsafe work conditions, call 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday to Friday. In an emergency, always call 911 immediately.

More information

Performance Industry
Ministry of Labour
Ontario.ca/labour

Health and Safety Ontario (health and safety association)
www.healthandsafetyontario.ca

Workplace Safety & Insurance Board
www.wsib.on.ca

Canadian Standards Association (CSA) standards referenced in occupational health and safety legislation
ohsviewaccess.csa.ca

Appendix – General hazards and a comparison of legislated requirements

The appendix refers to specific hazards and some of the corresponding requirements that are found in the OHSA, the Industrial Establishments Regulation and/or the Construction Projects Regulation. It also references other issues that may arise in the live performance workplace. The appendix can be used as a resource when conducting risk assessments.

Note: This is not a comprehensive list. To determine your obligations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act and its regulations, please contact your legal counsel or refer to the legislation. Site specific circumstances may impact on applicability of regulations.

Workplace hazards

Table 1: Workplace hazards

Hazard / requirement

Construction Regulation section

Industrial Regulation section

OHSA section

Examples from the Live Performance Industry and related information

Material storage and handling

37 – 43, 113

45 – 49, 74, 121, 122

n/a

Storage and handling of all types of materials

Minimum age

16

4

n/a

Minimum age to work at or visit a work site

Electrical hazards / safety

181 – 195.3

40 – 44, 60

n/a

Power tie-ins, worn cables, lockout

Working around power lines.

Outdoor venues- trucks near power lines

As a best practice, see also CSA Z460 – Control of Hazardous Energy – Lockout and Other Methods and CSA Z462-08 - Workplace Electrical Safety.

Chemical hazards / safety / handling

41, 42, 43, 58

22, 23,
124 – 128, 130, 131

25(2)(d), 37 – 39, 41, 42

Paint, dry ice, spray guns, chemical use

The Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) Regulation (Regulation 860) sets out employer duties respecting labels, material safety data sheets and worker education.

Exposure limits for hazardous substances are set out in Regulation 833 (Control of Exposure to Biological or Chemical Agents)

Ergonomic / over exertion

n/a

n/a

25(2)(h)

Computer work, proper lifting, table heights, etc.

Crushing hazards

31, 34, 37, 39, 108

12, 72

25(1)(e)

Clearance between moving parts - scenery shop, stage, structural requirements

Fire protection / hazards

17, 41 – 43, 52 – 58

22, 23, 62 – 65, 123

n/a

Access/egress, scenery blocking fire exits, housekeeping, fire extinguishing equipment, storage of flammable material

Drinking water

28

132

n/a

Access to water, heat stress

Outdoor summer theatre

Structures

31, 75 – 77

120

25(1)(e)

Structural adequacy (permanent and temporary), including scenery, platforms and loading

Openings in floors

26, 31 – 33

13 – 15

n/a

Trap pulled or stage elevator opening

Guardrails

26, 77

13 – 15

n/a

Trap openings, escape stairs and risers

Mobile equipment and operation

47, 93 – 112

54, 56 – 61

n/a

Some relevance to flying, hoisting and moving scenery

Lighting

45

21

n/a

Rehearsal lighting, procedure when dark-dim, due diligence

Supervision

14, 15

n/a

27

Supervisor duties

First aid

n/a

n/a

n/a

Workplace Safety and Insurance Act Regulation 1101

Notification of accidents, records

8 – 12, 19

5, 6

51 – 53

Notice to the MOL and joint health and safety committee of an accident and records

Emergency procedures and evacuation

17, 18, 70, 71, 72

16, 123, 130

n/a

Written emergency procedures and employee training

WHMIS training and Material Safety Data Sheet information

n/a

n/a

n/a

WHMIS Regulation 860

Trips and housekeeping

35 – 48

11, 126

n/a

Cables, housekeeping, ropes stage weights as door stops



Personal protective equipment

Table 2: Personal protective equipment

Hazard / requirement

Construction Regulation section

Industrial Regulation section

Noise Regulation section

OHSA section

Examples from the Live Performance Industry and related information

Head protection

22

79, 80, 83, 137

n/a

25(1)(a), (b) and (d) 27(1)(a) and (b) and 28(1)(b)

Falling objects, bumping head, working in grids, long hair

Foot protection

21, 23

79, 82

n/a

n/a

Trucks, carts, dollies, lifts, plywood, rails, screws

Eye protection

21, 24

21, 79, 81, 124, 137

n/a

n/a

Eye protection, lighting, eye wash stations and chemical use

Hearing protection

n/a

n/a

2, 3, 4

25(2)(h)

Sound check, nail guns, compressors, saws and training

Skin protection

21, 25, 30

79, 84, 125, 137

n/a

n/a

Working with skin irritants

Fall protection

21, 26

11, 73, 79, 85, 86

n/a

n/a

Working at heights, focusing, replacing bulbs, maintenance

Respiratory protection / ventilation

21, 46, 59

66, 79, 127, 128, 137, 138

n/a

n/a

Industrial hygiene issues- providing local exhaust- fog etc.

Exposure limits for hazardous substances are set out in Regulation 833 (Control of Exposure to Biological or Chemical Agents).

Lockout

186, 190, 191, 194

42, 42.1

n/a

n/a

Working on dimmer racks, motor controls etc.

See also CSA Z460 – Control of Hazardous Energy – Lockout and Other Methods and CSA Z462-08 - Workplace Electrical Safety



Tools and equipment safety

Table 3: Tools and equipment safety

Hazard / requirement

Construction Regulation section

Industrial Regulation section

OHSA section

Examples from the Live Performance Industry and related information

Ladders and catwalks

70, 78 - 84, 115

17 - 20, 73

n/a

A frames, extension ladders, portable ladders, adjustable height ladders

General tools and equipment safety / hazards

93 - 96

7, 29, 30, 38, 66, 75, 76

25(1)(a), (b) and (d)

General requirements for the operation of equipment and machines

Machine guarding

109

24 - 26, 28, 31, 32, 34

n/a

Table saws, radial arm saws, fan belts, fans

Explosive actuated tools

117 - 121

36, 37

n/a

Working with explosive actuated nail guns etc.

Welding safety / hazards

42, 43, 46, 52,122 - 124

49, 84, 127, 128

n/a

Welding, gas cylinders, ventilation and storage

Regulation 833 exposure limits for contaminants generated

Scaffolds and platforms

44, 73, 74, 125 - 142

11, 13, 14, 17, 120

n/a

Set-up, tear-downs, escape stairs, fly galleries

Elevating work platforms

44, 143 - 149

52

n/a

Lift trucks and personnel lifts

Cranes hoisting and rigging (mobile equipment)

44, 150 – 156

20, 52 - 61

n/a

Some relevance to motorized rigging, fly systems, rigging

Cables slings and rigging

168 - 180

51

n/a

Flown scenery, lighting etc.

Lifting people

169 (d)

n/a

n/a

Performer flying


Other hazards

Firearms (prop guns and blanks)

For information on the use of firearms in live performance workplaces please see the Stage Combat/Stunts and Weaponry Safety Guideline for the Live Performance Industry in Ontario.

The Canadian Firearms Program (CFP) oversees the administration of the Firearms Act and its related Regulations.

Employers should be aware of licensing requirements under the Firearms Act. See the Canadian Firearms Program website for information on Possession and Acquisition Licenses (PAL) and Firearms Business Licenses.

For information on federal licensing requirements contact:
Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Canadian Firearms Program
Ottawa ON
K1A 0R2
1-800-731-4000
E-mail: cfp-pcaf@rcmp-grc.gc.ca

Pyrotechnics

For information on the use of pyrotechnics in live performance workplaces, please see the Pyrotechnic Special Effects Safety Guideline for the Live Performance Industry in Ontario.

The Explosives Regulatory Division (ERD) of Natural Resources Canada is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the Canadian Explosives Act.

For information on the Canadian Explosives Act contact:
Natural Resources Canada
Explosives Regulatory Division
580 Booth Street, 15th Floor
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A OE9
Website: www.nrcan.gc.ca

Pressure vessels, air lines and tanks

In Ontario, Pressure Vessels and Boilers and their use are regulated by the Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA) Pressure Vessels and Boilers Safety Division.

For information contact:
Technical Standards and Safety Authority – Pressure Vessels and Boilers Division
Technical Standards and Safety Authority
14th Floor, Centre Tower
3300 Bloor Street West
Toronto, Ontario
M8X 2X4
Website: www.tssa.org

Gaseous fuels

In Ontario, gaseous fuels and their use are regulated by the Technical Standards and Safety Authority Fuels Safety Division. The use of gaseous fuels for special effects shall be with respect to an approved TSSAapplication for special effects and the applicable Regulations and Code Books.

For information contact:
Technical Standards and Safety Authority - Fuels Safety Division
Technical Standards and Safety Authority
14th Floor, Centre Tower
3300 Bloor Street West
Toronto, Ontario
M8X 2X4
Website: www.tssa.org

ISBN 978-1-4606-3108-9 (HTML)

Disclaimer: This web resource has been prepared to assist the workplace parties in understanding some of their obligations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and the regulations. It is not intended to replace the OHSA or the regulations and reference should always be made to the official version of the legislation.

It is the responsibility of the workplace parties to ensure compliance with the legislation. This web resource does not constitute legal advice. If you require assistance with respect to the interpretation of the legislation and its potential application in specific circumstances, please contact your legal counsel.

While this web resource will also be available to Ministry of Labour inspectors, they will apply and enforce the OHSA and its regulations based on the facts as they may find them in the workplace. This web resource does not affect their enforcement discretion in any way.