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ENI, Kenneth Efakponana

Towards a Safe Work Environment in the Theatre and Entertainment Industry in Nigeria

Kenneth Efakponana ENI, PhD

Department of Theatre Arts

Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island

Bayelsa State, Nigeria

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GSM: +234-803-501-8396; +234-805-414-7804

Abstract

The environment under which the theatre and entertainment technologist work in Nigeria is strewn with a lot of hazards. There are no standard codes of practice. Within the theatre, there is the manipulation of scenery, work with high voltage electricity and fragile equipment, working in confine spaces while manipulating machines for the creation of special effects. Due to the fact that most of the times, these personnel work in cramped environments that have little space and in environments that are not proper theatre spaces, they face a great risk in their day to day work. Since the emergence of the theatre as a profession in Nigeria, its practitioners have been unable to develop a safety code for its practice. Environmental health and safety issues regarding theatre practice are not even part of the syllabus of most departments in Nigerian universities offering Theatre Arts. Nollywood as a growing film industry that has attracted much international attention and patronage is also without a safety code for practitioners. This paper adopts the critical discourse analysis of the qualitative research method in examining the environment in which the theatre and entertainment technologist work in Nigeria while proffering suggestions on how the work environment can be made safer.

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