Theater Closes Curtain on Safety Hazards

Assemblyman Lancman announces that legendary Shubert Organization adopts safety recommendations
June 10, 2011

Assemblyman Rory Lancman (D-Queens), chair of the Assembly Subcommittee on Workplace Safety, is pleased to announce that the legendary Shubert Organization -- the largest theater group in New York, with twenty theaters -- has agreed to adopt language in its booking agreements with show producers which would mandate periodic emergency preparedness training for employees. Providing such training was a prime recommendation of the Subcommittee's report on emergency preparedness in the theater district and its impact on workplace safety, which followed a December 2010 Assembly Roundtable on the subject. The Shubert Organization's decision is the product of an ongoing dialogue between the Subcommittee and theater owners, and follows OSHA's recent decision to adopt the Subcommittee's recommendation to provide better guidance to theaters and to conduct more regular inspections.

The botched Times Square terrorist attack of May 1, 2010 highlighted concerns among theater district employees that existing emergency preparedness and evacuation plans and procedures present a workplace safety hazard and are in need careful reexamination to ensure workplace safety. The December 2010 Roundtable was jointly hosted by the Assembly Subcommittee on Workplace Safety, and Assembly Committees on Labor, Governmental Operations and Cities, and participants included representatives from the NYC Fire Department, OSHA, Theater Owners, Theater Employee Unions and the NYC Office of Emergency Management (OEM).

"I commend the Shubert Organization for leading the way on workplace safety and emergency preparedness, and I hope other theaters are inspired to likewise take concrete steps to ensure that their workers and patrons are prepared in the event of an emergency," said Assemblyman Lancman.