Zombie Science: Worst Case Scenario Risk Assessment

This is the risk assessment page for the Zombie Science: Worst Case Scenario tutorial.

Public title: Zombie Science: Worst Case Scenario

Character: Theoretical Zombiologist

Show format: Spoof tutorial

Last updated: 20th October 2012

Risk Assessment Author: Alastair Condon


Zombie Science: Worst Case Scenario is a spoof tutorial on the real science behind a disease outbreak. The presenting Theoretical Zombiologist will put you at the heart of a hypothetical Zombieism epidemic, and teach you what to do when a Zombie outbreak occurs. The workshop format will teach you how the cause of a new disease is identified, what preventative measures can reduce its spread, and how treatments and cures are developed. Featuring a multi-media presentation and interactive demonstrations the outcome of the outbreak is down to you; with multiple endings depending on how you decide to deal with the Zombies. The science subjects covered include genetics, virology and epidemiology.

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: Likely x notable-injury = High

Additional controls: The performer will remove trip hazards before the show. The performer will have material to clean up 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 the staging environment is safe and that the trip and slip hazards are no worse than the everyday, a medium risk rating is fair assessment.

Water spraying demonstration

Fine mist of water sprayed into audience from pressure sprayer container to demonstrate a human sneeze.

Hazard: Water on floor.

Risk: Slips and falls from wet floor.

Existing control measures: Paper towel ready to dry puddles.

Risk rating: Rare x notable-injury = Medium

Additional controls: Performer avoids overspraying and ensures water covers audience and not stage.

Final risk rating: Rare x notable-injury = Medium

Conclusion: The spray is a fine mist and evaporates quickly. If sprayed into audience and not on surrounding stage or floor, a medium rating is a fair assessment.

Velcro-ball attaching activity

Audience members are requested to throw small plastic balls with velcro attachments onto a velcro board. Some balls will stick to the board held by the presenter, to demonstrate receptors for viruses. Other balls will bounce off as they do not have the correct velcro.

Hazard: Falling plastic balls

Risk: Balls provide slip hazard if left on floor. Flying balls may provide injury to performer.

Existing control measures: Balls are light and made of thin plastic. Performer will lead activity and will wear a face protection mask.

Risk rating: Likely x insignificant-injury = Low

Additional controls: All balls will be collected straight after the demonstration.

Final risk rating: Likely x insignificant-injury = Low

Conclusion: Balls are light, hand-held and unlikely to provide injury. A low rating is a fair assessment.

Handwashing demonstration

Liquid glow solution squirted from bottle into hands to determine effectiveness of handwashing. Solution will glow when placed under UV light. Hands are placed under UV light before and after washing in warm water.

Hazard: Glow solution

Risk: Allergic reaction to glow solution or soap.

Existing control measures: Small amount of solution used and is washed off almost immediately. Sensitive skin solution is available.

Risk rating: Rare x notable-injury = Medium

Additional controls: Volunteer is asked if they have sensitive skin.

Final risk rating: Rare x minor-injury = Low

Conclusion: The solution is commercially available and designed for hand use. The small quantities used are unlikely to result in a significant reaction and water is available to rinse off immediately if required. A low rating is a fair assessment.

Tennis Racquet crossbow demonstration

Volunteer will fire plastic sucker darts from a crossbow mechanism made from a tennis racquet. The 'bolts' are blunt. The crossbow is used to aim at paper targets held by presenter facing away from audience.

Hazard: Fast moving bolts.

Risk: Eye injury from rebounding bolts.

Existing control measures: The crossbow bolts are soft and blunt and elastic mechanism is weak. Both participant and performer will wear eye protection.

Risk rating: Likely x serious-injury = High

Additional controls: The volunteer will be given instruction on how to operate the crossbow safely. The shooter will face away from the audience at all times. Presenter will remain in control at all times. Crossbow will not be left loaded. A minimum of 3 metres will be maintained between target and audience in case or rebounding bolts.

Final risk rating: Rare x notable-injury = Medium

Conclusion: The firing range is very short and the additional control measures in place allow for little chance of an eye injury. However, vigilance needs to be maintained to keep the risks low, therefore a medium risk is a fair rating.