ANSI E1.34-2009 (R2024)— Entertainment Technology

Ballerina performing in a theater with floors that adhere to ANSI E1.34.

Workers in a theatrical, stage, or studio environment can be exposed to a number of hazards that put them at risk of workplace injury. Slip and fall accidents pose an especially significant risk, accounting for one million injuries every year in the U.S. Minimizing slip and fall accidents in an entertainment venue is imperative to ensure safety of both artists and crew. ANSI E1.34-2009 (R2024)— Entertainment Technology – Measuring And Specifying The Slipperiness Of Floors Used In Live Performance Venues describes means of measuring and specifying the slipperiness of floor surface materials used by performers in live entertainment venues.

What Contributes to Slip and Fall Accidents?

Because almost anything can cause a slip, trip, or fall, they are extraordinarily common. Falling is the leading cause of ER visits, responsible for about 21.3% of all visits. Some of the top contributing factors that could cause a slip and fall accident include spills; ice, snow, and rain; loose mats and rugs; stepladders; poor lighting; and obstruction in paths. Luckily, standards like ANSI E1.34 exist to minimize the onset of slip and fall accidents.  

What Is ANSI E1.34-2009 (R2024)?

ANSI E1.34 applies only to those floor surface materials used by actors, dancers, and other similar artists when rehearsing or performing. This American National Standard describes a drag-sled method for measuring the slipperiness of a performance floor. ANSI E1.34 offers two testing procedures for measuring and specifying the slipperiness of floor surface materials used by performers to address particular measurement problems.

  1. General Testing Procedure is intended to render a number that can be used in comparing the relative slipperiness of floor materials when the friction materials are the floor surface and stainless steel.
  2. Specific Testing Procedure provides a means of rendering a slipperiness number for a floor surface when specific footwear material is contacting it.

The standard is not intended to be applied to normal walking and working surfaces.

Theatrical Environment Risks

Here are some instances that could instigate the onset of risks in a theatrical environment:

  • Moving sets, lighting equipment, platforms, and risers
  • “The show must go on” attitude
  • Changes in production process (e.g., design, lighting, sound cues, blocking, scene changes)
  • Stress caused by time pressure and fatigue
  • Lack of consistent safety training

These risks can be categorized by physical hazards (lighting and handling load, moving parts of machinery, excessive noise, slipping and tripping hazards, etc.), chemical hazards (liquids, dust, fumes, mists and vapors, gases, etc.) biological hazards (viruses, bacteria, molds, body fluids, etc.) and psychosocial hazards (stress, fatigue, working conditions, etc.). It is critical that productions take appropriate health and safety measures to mitigate these risks for the benefit of the production as a whole and the cast and crew.

ANSI E1.34-2009 (R2024)— Entertainment Technology – Measuring And Specifying The Slipperiness Of Floors Used In Live Performance Venues is available on the ANSI Webstore.

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