Home‎ > ‎Shows‎ > ‎Ancillary Show Information‎ > ‎Risk Assessments‎ > ‎

Zombie Science: Brain of the Dead Risk Assessment

This is the risk assessment page for the Zombie Science: Brain of the Dead lecture.

Public title: Zombie Science: Brain of the Dead

Presenter: Science communicator

Show format: Spoof lecture

Last updated: 28th January 2014

Organisation: Time-Tastical Productions


'Zombie Science: Brain of the Dead' is a comedy/science lecture presented by a 'Theoretical Zombiologist' from the 'Zombie Institute for Theoretical Studies'. The lecture features interactive demonstrations and a multi-media presentation.

Minimum stage dimensions required: 3m x 2.5m

General trip and slip hazards

Stage equipment, cables, props and demos give potential trip and slip hazards for the performer and members of the audience invited onto the stage. The individual demonstrations provide their own specific potential slip and trip hazard and these are covered in their own sections.

Hazard: Cables, staging equipment, wet floor etc.

Risk: Trip, slip and falls.

Existing control measures: Show is designed with mitigating these risks in mind.

Risk rating before additional measures: Likely x Notable-injury = High

Additional controls measures: 

  • The performer will remove or minimise trip hazards before the show.
  • The performer will have material to clean slip hazards during the show.
  • The performer will maintain a tidy stage during the show.
  • When audience members are invited onto the stage, the performer will brief and maintain control of all participants. 
  • The performer will make sure that slip hazards are cleaned up if they occur throughout the show.

Final risk rating: Rare x Notable-injury = Medium

Conclusion: Given that any public staging environment is managed, at the outset trip and slip hazards should be no worse than the everyday and so a medium risk rating is fair assessment.

Tick removal demo

Volunteer will remove 5 ticks from model arm using large plastic tweezers.

Hazard: Wire legs of ticks, plastic tweezers.

Risk: Eye damage, slips.

Existing control measures:  

  • Tweezers are plastic and child friendly. 


Risk rating: Unlikely x Notable injury = Low

Additional controls: 

  • Volunteer will always be wearing goggles and gloves.
  • Presenter explains correct and safe use of tweezers to remove ticks and how to place them into a safe container. 

Final risk rating: Unlikely x Notable injury = Low

Conclusion: With guidance and supervision from presenter the demonstration can be undertaken at low risk.

Distortion goggles demo

Volunteer wears a pair of goggles with right angled prisms attached to them. The goggles bend light reaching the eyes making objects appear displaced. Gradually the brain adapts to the distortion. Once removed the distortion occurs again momentarily before normal vision is restored.

Hazard: Obstruction and distortion of vision.

Risk: Eye strain, trips and slips.

Existing control measures:

  • The goggles can be easily removed.
  • Volunteer can easily remove goggles if they feel ocular discomfort.

Risk rating: Likely x Notable injury = High

Additional controls: 

  • Volunteer remains still throughout. 
  • Goggles are worn for a short period.
  • Presenter regularly confirms volunteer is okay whilst wearing goggles. 
  • Presenter ensures volunteer is standing in an area with an adequate amount of space.

Final risk rating: Unlikely x Minor injury = Low

Conclusion: Goggles are worn for a period of less than five minutes. Vision will return to normal within minutes of removal. This is a demonstration that is used regularly by science communication groups.

Brain bashing demo

Volunteer hits a polystyrene head with a foam bat. Sensors in the head measure the impact force and the results are displayed on screen.

Hazard: Wire/cable, impact injuries from foam bat.

Risk: Head injury, arm injury, trips.  

Existing control measures: 

  • All electrical cable is protected and hidden from view. 
  • Electrical components are sealed in plastic casing. 
  • Bat is constructed from soft foam.   

Risk rating: Likely x Minor injury = Medium

Additional controls: 

  • Presenter and volunteer both wear goggles and gloves. 
  • Presenter gives clear instruction and supervision. 
  • Presenter wears lab coat to protect arms.

Final risk rating: Likely x Minor injury = Medium

Conclusion: Polystyrene head is held at arms length. Bashing with bat is only conducted for 20 seconds, therefore risk of prolonged or repeated injuries to presenter is low.  

Deep brain stimulation demo

Volunteer inserts raw spaghetti into holes in polystyrene head. The spaghetti triggers sensors in the head and the results are displayed on screen.  

Hazard: Spaghetti, wire/cable.

Risk: Eye injury, impact injuries, trips, allergies.

Existing control measures:  

  • All electrical cable is protected and hidden from view. 
  • Electrical components are sealed in plastic casing.

Risk rating: Rare x Notable injury = Medium  

Additional controls: 

  • Only two pieces of spaghetti are used at any one time. 
  • Presenter selects volunteer and double checks if they have any allergy to spaghetti. 
  • Volunteer and presenter wear goggles. 
  • Presenter advises volunteer not to ingest spaghetti.

Final risk rating: Rare x Notable injury = Medium  

Conclusion: Volunteer is under guidance from presenter at all times. The task is clearly explained and demonstrated before being carried out. The volunteer is wearing adequate protective equipment.