Abbie asked in Cars & TransportationSafety · 6 years ago

Do I have a safety right of Refusal in highschool?

So, we're in the middle of our high school senior play, which we are taking to a competitive festival next month. One of our props is a 7 foot tall wooden guillotine, in which I have to lie down in. Our wood shop teacher built it with his grade 7 and 9 classes, complete with sliding MDF blade.

So here's the thing: multiple times during the play, I have to lie down in the guillotine and have my head clamped into it. The wooden MDF blade is attached to a rope, tied to the guillotine frame. I trust the knot to hold the blade up. But, at one point, another cast member has to untie it and hold the blade up with the rope. On our first run through today with the neck restraint, the before mentioned cast member accidentally let the rope slip through his fingers and let it fall. Luckily, the top part of the neck clamp thing fits loose, so I popped it up and moved before the wooden blade crashed down where my head used to be.

SO HERE'S THE QUESTION: I do not trust the person who has to control the blade, nor the guillotine itself. Both of my directors keep telling me I have nothing to worry about and that even if it does fall, I 'likely' should be okay and that they're 'fairly certain' it won't cause too much damage. I know I should trust my cast mates, but that's kinda hard when on the first rehearsal I almost get it dropped on me. So, do I have a right to refuse to allow myself into the guillotine? Is it a legitimate safety concern??

5 Answers

  • Joe
    Lv 7
    6 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    You can, and should, refuse to participate.

    There's enough energy in that falling weight to break your neck, even with a blunt blade.

    If nobody in your school is taking your concerns seriously, talk to somebody outside the school. I'm thinking somebody from your local fire department would be able to assess the safety of this prop.

    Stick to your position. Your instincts are better than your directors'.

  • 6 years ago

    Ummm, YES you have the right to refuse, That is extremely asinine to use a real blade in a Prop and to expect a person to lie underneath it. I absolutely would not participate and i would actively get an outside authority figure involved and get that prop removed. that is just asking for an accident

  • 6 years ago

    You have identified a serious safety hazard. When that is corrected you can continue. The solution can be as simple as shimming the lower part of the guides so if released it comes to a stop well short of your neck. Until then, no go.

  • Am0s
    Lv 7
    6 years ago

    The blade should be made of rubber painted silver or something that will give, springs back like a dummy knife that retracts into the handle, in the interest of safety.

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  • Alamoe
    Lv 4
    6 years ago

    When the guillotine blade fell did the director yell, "CUT"?

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