You are responsible for creating a safe environment on the stage. Don’t think of the sound booth as your only domain. Your domain includes the stage. It contains elements that can cause bodily harm just because of their existence. For example, a microphone cable could be in the wrong place and cause the pastor to trip. You can keep environmental safety problems to a minimum by taking the proper steps to ensure a safe environment.
There are four components to environmental safety;
- Cable control. Use the shortest lengths of cable required on stage. Extra cable can easily get snagged by a foot and spell disaster for the person as well as the equipment in which it’s attached. Also, don’t run cables through high traffic areas. For instance, avoid running cables through the area where the pastor walks. When you do have cables that are in those traffic areas, use gaffer tape to secure it to the floor.
- Traffic Safety. Place stage equipment out of foot-traffic areas. For example, you don’t want an amp or microphone stand sticking out into the path people use to walk on and off the stage. This is especially true around the pulpit area. In the case of large stages, this isn’t as much of an issue. However, in the case of small stages, this is very important.
- Clutter. The more stuff on stage, the more likely something bad will happen. Therefore, look at minimizing equipment. There isn’t a lot of extra equipment on the stage except for microphone stands and music stands. Work with the musicians to trade two microphone stands, where they keep their handheld microphones, for one stand. You can even buy a microphone stand that holds five microphones. If you did that, you’d be removing four extra stands from the stage.
- Fire. How does your church provide a more intimate feel during a service? Do they dim the lights? Do they light candles? The problem with candles is they could be placed anywhere on the stage. Someone might place one on top of the amp. Or, they might place one on top of the organ next to the dried flowers. Wait, aren’t those highly flammable? Before the service starts, when someone is placing candles around the sanctuary, make sure they are placing them in safe locations. Note, there can be fire code restrictions on open flames but that’s another story.