Health and Safety Policy

This document is designed to enable you to have a safe and enjoyable experience at the Dorking Halls

Dorking Halls has risk assessments in place for all work undertaken by its staff.  Visiting Companies must carry out their own risk assessments based on their own needs, activities, equipment, personnel, etc.  The following guidance is meant to help in this process by providing useful information about the main areas of Dorking Halls that visiting companies will come into contact with.

Please ensure that you have read this document and understand your responsibilities as a Hirer as it outlines our commitment to Health & safety at Dorking Halls.

Information contained within this document may be freely used in your own risk assessment for you event.

Health and Safety at work general policy statement

Mole Valley District Council recognises and accepts its duties under the Health and Safety at Work Etc. Act 1974 and concomitant protective legislation.  The Council will endeavour  to  protect,  as  far  as  is  reasonably  practicable,  the  health,  safety  and welfare at work of all its employees and any trainees, contractors or members of the public,  who  might  reasonably  be  expected  to  be  affected  by  the  conduct  of  the Council’s activities.

Prime responsibility for health and safety lies with the Clerk and Chief Executive and the Directors.   These officers will take all reasonably practicable steps on behalf of the Council to meet its health and safety obligations and in particular will provide and maintain:

a)        safe places of work, safe equipment, a safe working environment, and safe systems of work;

b)        sufficient information, instruction, training and supervision to protect the health and safety of all employees and to enable them to protect themselves;

c)        adequate facilities and arrangements for welfare at work;

d)        facilities  for  union  safety  representatives  to  enable  them  to  carry  out  their roles effectively.

The Council recognises that the success of this policy depends on the co-operation of visitors and health and safety being seen as a mutual objective by the Council, its employees and contractors.   The Council expects its employees and contractors to fulfil their personal responsibilities for their own health and safety and that of other people  who  may  be  affected  by  the  work  they  do;  to  adhere  to  the  safe  working practices of the Council and co-operate fully with any appropriate instructions on any matter relating to health and safety.

The Council seeks the co-operation and active involvement of all its employees and will  use  the  agreed  consultative  machinery  to  consult  and  communicate  with  all recognised trade unions and staff representatives.

The Council will document its organisation and arrangements for the implementation of this policy together with detailed written advice on health and safety and welfare matters in safety manuals.   Manuals will be available to all employees through their Heads   of   Department,   safety   representative,   Head   of   Personnel   or   Head   of Environmental Health. As far as reasonably practicable information held in manuals will be available on the Council’s intranet.

The Head of Environmental Health as the Council’s Safety Adviser will ensure that all health and safety documentation is monitored and reviewed regularly.

Suspicious Packages

If you notice any item that looks suspicious, or out-of-place, do not approach it, or tamper with it in anyway, immediately retreat and inform the Duty Manager as to the location of the item.

If you discover a fire

1.   Immediately operate the nearest Alarm

2.   Contact the Duty Manager

3.   Leave the building by the nearest fire exit and report to the Assembly point

4.   Only attempt to fight a small fire with the correct extinguisher if you have been trained and can do so without putting yourself at risk. If instructed to evacuate by a fire marshal you must do so.


What to do when the alarm sounds

The Fire Alarm is a loud continuous electronic system.

If the alarm sounds be aware and ready to evacuate the building if necessary. Please wait for further instructions from the Duty Manager who will inform you either in person or on the speaker system on the requirement to evacuate or if it has been a False Alarm.

Fire Assembly Point

The Assembly Point is in the car park at the REAR of Dorking Halls.  There is an ‘Assembly Point’ sign on a lamppost on the far side of the car park, to the left of the Ranmore Rooms.  From the Main Entrance you will need to go past the front of the Sports Centre then up the side of the Centre via the car park entrance to the rear perimeter. Once at the Fire Assembly point you must stay in this area until a member of staff informs you that it is safe to leave. (Officials will be wearing hi-vis vests for easier identification)

Re-entering the building after an evacuation

You may not re-enter of your own accord until you have been informed that it is safe to do so by an official member of staff. (Officials will be wearing hi-vis vests for easier identification) This applies even if the Fire Alarm has ceased.

Fire Exits

The Dorking Halls has a total of 6 dedicated Fire Exits on the Ground Floor.  If the Fire Alarm sounds then the nearest escape is indicated by green “running man” signs located above head height in all corridors and above doors.

The Duty Manager will ensure that all escape routes are free from obstruction, and all doors on escape routes freely operate, prior to your arrival. However it is your responsibility that these escape routes remain unobstructed during your time with us.

Fire Extinguishers

The Theatre and Dressing Rooms contain Fire Extinguishers that are regularly inspected; you should not attempt to tackle any fire by yourself. Any tampering or misuse of any Fire Equipment (including extinguishers, brake- glass units, heat/smoke detectors) by members of your group will incur additional charges.

Power Failure

In the event of a power outage, The Dorking Halls are equipped with emergency lighting. Please wait where you are and for further announcements from the Duty Manager as to whether an evacuation is necessary. If an evacuation is required then the nearest escape is indicated by green “running man” signs located above head height in all corridors and above doors. (These signs are illuminated or will glow in the dark)


External lighting is provided in this area, but care should be taken at night in case of equipment or other potential hazards.

Drivers of large vehicles should always ask resident Technical staff for assistance in reversing/manoeuvring in this area.

The Reigate Road Car Park holds enough spaces for 216 on a pay and display basis during the daytime.

Additional parking is also available after 18.00 in the Pippbrook Car Park across the road from Dorking Halls. Parking is free on a Sunday.

Cars parked at the Dorking Halls and in local car parks are entirely at the owner’s risk.

Disabled Access

There are 8 Disabled Parking spaces in the Reigate Road Car Park situated close to the Dorking Halls.

The Halls has lifts to all levels with the exception of the Dressing Rooms and stage.

Disabled access toilets are on both the Ground and 1st Floor.


The Dorking Halls does not take any responsibility for any loss or damage to personal property, however caused.

Toilet Facilities

There are Male and Female toilet facilities on both the Ground Floor and Balcony Level. Disabled toilets are large enough to accommodate a wheelchair with ample space to manoeuvre and are on both the Ground and 1st Floor. Baby changing facilities are available on-site.

Food and Drink

Please  note  that  hirers  are  not  permitted  to  provide  their  own  refreshments  or catering in the Halls or to consume their own food and/or beverages on the premises. Hirers are also forbidden from bringing alcohol into the premises. It  is  also  the responsibility  of  the  hirer  to  ensure  that  any person(s) connected with or attending their event do not provide their own refreshments or catering in the Halls or consume their own food and/or beverages or bring alcohol into the premises.


Smoking or vaping is not permitted anywhere on site at the Dorking Halls. There is a small smoking shelter at the back of the Halls in the Car Park. There are also cigarette ashtrays outside the front of the entrance for public use.

Portable Appliance Testing

Please ensure that any electrical items you bring on-site have been PAT (Portable Appliance Tested) within the last 12 months. A relevant test label should be clearly visible on all such items. Any electrical item that has not been tested within the last 12 months will not be permitted to be used on site.

First Aid

Whilst we endeavour to ensure a qualified First Aider is always on-site, we cannot guarantee this for all events.  We would therefore advise you to bring your own First Aider. Alternative cover for the public for an event can be arranged through St John Ambulance on 01306 887333.

All accidents occurring within our premises, however small or seemingly insignificant, must be reported immediately to the Duty Manager, as all occurrences must be logged.

Prohibited Items

The following items may not be bought into the Dorking Halls without prior consent from the Technical Manager. Once confirmed the appropriate signage will be arranged and placed in the Theatre entrances to warn patrons.

  • Pyrotechnics or other explosive materials
  • Firearms, knives or other forms of weaponry, whether real or used as ‘props’
  • Smoke or Haze Effects
  • Dry Ice Effects
  • Laser Effects
  • Strobe Effects

Any set/scenery bought in the Dorking Halls must be flame-proofed PRIOR to arrival. Supporting evidence may be request by the Technical Manager/ Senior Technician.

The Stage

Please note that the stage at Dorking Halls is raked (1:24), so any equipment with wheels fitted should be effectively braked as soon as it is brought onto the stage. The front of the stage is 1.1m from the floor of the auditorium.

All electrical connections should be made by Dorking Halls Technical staff. Visiting companies have a responsibility for ensuring that all electrical equipment they bring into the venue has a valid Portable Appliance Test Certificate.

Dressing Rooms

The dressing room area is located below stage level and is accessed by steps down from Stage Right and Stage Left.

These steps and the main corridor must be kept clear of any obstruction at all times. Mirrors in dressing rooms have lights around them which will get hot and can burn skin, wigs, costumes, etc.

Toilets and showers are located in this area.  Please notify a member of staff of any problem in these areas, such as water on floors, etc.


Treads from the stage to the auditorium floor are permanently in place at both sides of the stage.  Do not involve the audience in using these during a performance without first warning the Duty Manager, who will arrange an usher to assist.

These steps are well marked and each set has a hand rail on one side.

Working at heights

No Item may be attached or suspended from the Halls lighting rigs without consent from the Technical Manager. Any work undertaken above head height must be supervised by the Senior Technician. Unless adequate proof of certification can be produced, you will not be allowed to use scissor lift on your own to access the grid. A qualified member of staff must operate lift controls on your behalf. If you plan to work at heights within the Halls, you must also sign a release form.

Loading of equipment

A lift is provided to give access from the car park directly onto the rear of the stage for heavy equipment. This can only be operated by trained Dorking Halls technicians. The lift should not be touched except under the direct supervision of Dorking Halls staff.


All equipment brought in by visiting companies must be located on stage or in the dressing rooms (or with permission in the Technical Store area).  Under no circumstances can any equipment be left in the main corridor – this is a fire exit.

Arriving on site

Please do not arrive before your ‘Get In’ time. You will not be granted access to the facilities prior to this time for insurance and safety reasons. Upon arrival, you will be greeted by either the Duty Manager or the Senior Technician for your event. There is no requirement for every member of your group to sign-in, however as the hirer, you must have a record of all your group members on site, for Fire Evacuation purposes. Once on-site, please take a few moments to get your bearings and familiarise yourself with the layout of the facilities and evacuation routes.

Starting your event

The decision as to when to start your actual event is made on the day at the discretion of the Duty Manager.  The House should be ready for the public a minimum of 30 minutes prior to the start time.

The Duty Manager will instruct the audience to be in the venue for the start time with a series of announcements to manage their ingress.


Latecomers to your event will only be permitted at the discretion of the Duty Manager and at a time deemed to cause least disruption.

Child Supervision

Staff at the Dorking Halls are not employed in a child supervisory role. If you are bringing children to the Dorking Halls, either as participants or as audience members, you must ensure that you have arranged adequate adult supervision of the children at all times whilst on site, and that these adults are aware of what to do in the event of an emergency

Where children are engaged in performances the Licensing Regulations require that they will require an Entertainment Licence. It is the responsibility of the Production Company or group to provide the licences; it is the Theatres responsibility to check that they are in place. A show or individual can be stopped from performing if there is no licence. Applications can be obtained from the Surrey County Council Child Employment Office, Grosvenor House, Cross Lanes, Guildford, Surrey, GU1 1FA, 01483 517838 Email: And must be returned at least 21 days prior to performance.

More information is available on

A minimum of one licensed Chaperone/ Matron of the same sex per 12 children must be provided.

Videoing/Photographing Events

This is permitted, but not from a professional production or Schools Event unless with the written permission of the Hirer/ Producer.


Keys are not given out at the Dorking Halls except for Dressing Rooms. If you require access to a locked area please see the Duty Manager for access.

Key points of contact

Duty Manager

The Duty Manager will be based in the building for your events. The Duty Manager is your first point-of contact for any issues during your time on site. They can be located at the Front of the Dorking Halls. If the Duty Manager is not present they can located by radio by a member of the Box Office Staff. 01306 879323

Operations Manager

The Deputy General Manager is responsible for all Health & Safety and procedural matters Front of House.  01306 879314

Technical Manager

The Technical Manager is responsible for all Technical Health & Safety Matters aspects of the Dorking Halls. The Technical Manager should be contacted well in advance of your event to confirm all details and discuss prohibited items/ equipment required. 01306 879316

Senior/Duty Technician

The Senior/Duty Technician for your event is your first point of contact for all technical issues. Depending on the nature of your event other Technicians may be available. 01306 879318

Event Assistants

Dependant on the size and nature of your event, a number of event assistants may also be present. If you are unable to directly contact the Duty Manager, your next points of contact are the event assistants, who are on hand to direct and assist members of the public, and support the Duty Manager.

As a hirer of the facilities it is your responsibility to ensure that all participants are aware of this information contained within this document.

Failure to adhere to any of the information contained within this document, may incur additional costs, and/or result in further bookings being cancelled. You must also adhere to any additional verbal instructions given by the Duty Manager in relation to Health & Safety during your time at the Dorking Halls.

Should you have any questions relating to your Health & Safety at the Dorking Halls prior to your arrival, please direct them to the Deputy General Manager, Alex Gilbert, If any such concerns arise whilst you are on-site, please direct them to your Duty Manager.