When you first start out in the music industry, especially as a performer, there is a certain level of romance about playing in a smoky club and using a dingy storage closet at your changing room. You think that you are paying your dues and will eventually make it big and can then look back on these simpler times with nostalgia. Never mind the fact that your working conditions are uncomfortable and can even be dangerous.
Music industry jobs working conditions vary from state of the art concert halls and recording studios to grungy basements and run-down clubs. However, as soon as you declare yourself to be a working industry professional, you and your health are protected by OSHA standards. OSHA stands for occupational safety and health administration and is the branch of the federal government that ensures your working conditions are safe.
In order to assure that your music industry working conditions are safe for you, you need to know your rights under OSHA. This means that regardless of where you are playing or what you are getting paid you should have a safe place to change and store your equipment. You should have easy access to drinking water and a clean toilet facility. You should be allowed adequate breaks during your working time; industry standard is generally ninety minutes of playing and fifteen minutes of break. If you feel that equipment or infrastructure is unsafe you should be able to report it to your building contact without fear of breaching your contract.
Music industry jobs working conditions don’t have to be as bad as they are as long as every musician, from the kid with his first live gig to the veteran performer, band together to demand safe and clean working conditions so that they can produce the best music possible.