When organising an event, you are responsible for the health & safety of everyone at the event. This means taking reasonable action to prevent incidents and injuries and forward planning in terms of emergency situations that can arise.
Besides the safety of people there are a number of factors that may affect your event and the measures to be taken. Ultimately it all comes down to being conscious and being prepared.
6 questions for Unlimited Productions health & safety team:
1. When organizing an event, what are important health and safety aspects?
Depending on the event there are a variety of aspects to take into account. Below we give you a few examples.
People & structures
The safety of the visitors (and artists) is the first and one of the most important aspects. Starting with questions such as:
- What is the capacity of the site?
- What is the best, logical & safest set-up in this venue?
- How many emergency routes & exits are needed?
- Have you received all construction reports of all the objects and structures build?
Rules and regulations can be found in all kinds of NEN standards, building regulations (temporary structures) and procedures from the local authorities. All countries are different so always check with a local producer / local health & safety manager what the regulations are.
- Is the signing clearly indicated and is it clear where the emergency exits are?
- Are the objects & items that people can stumble upon well marked?
- Is the set-up logical in case of emergency?
- Are there enough toilets? Including refresh stations?
- Is there enough drinking water available? If needed free?
- Are different weather conditions taken into account? Including a plan of action?
- Are the wind management plans ready, including a Wind Work Method Statement?
- Is the calamity plan clear and briefed to all people involved?
- Is the attendance of disabled people taken into account?
- Is the presence of hooligans, environmental activists, motorcycle gangs, etcetera taken into account?
- What about terrorism control, roadblocks, bag control?
- Does the event take place in, for instance, the breeding season?
- What to do with oil spills from machinery?
- What measures do you take by protests from local residents?
- Are you using open fire or fireworks?
- Are you using effects that can provoke epilepsy?
- Are weight calculations, roof truss loads and construction calculations made?
- Do the temporary structures have a construction book and did you receive it?
- Have fire safety certificates been issued for all items?
- Have water tests been done to exclude legionella?
- Are bio-diesel or LPG aggregates used?
Audio & Sound factors
- Is everybody aware of the maximum dBA?
- In order to prevent hearing damage, are dBA measurements done on a regular basis?
2. Why is it important to pay enough attention to health & safety?
There is always a chance of damage to health or safety. Therefore you have to make an inventory of the potential risks and limit them with measures. Thinking about them, documenting them, discussing the potential risks with stakeholders and alerting employees or making them aware of exceptional situations is the least you can do to prevent any harm.
Within Unlimited Productions we work with a Production Risk Assessment document which we adjust and customize for all events. This risk inventory focuses on the possible components that are specific to that production and, where necessary, we set up measures. Some countries and organisations require this document, others do not, but we always have this document ready before we start the production and that’s something we really suggest for everybody involved in our business.
3. How does Unlimited Productions deal with health & safety?
In the Office
At Unlimited Productions we make sure that our certifications are up-to-date. Think about the inspection of in-house fire-extinguishers & the fire-extinguishers in our tool cases, periodic inspection of all Personal Protective Equipment items (PBM’s), but also training such as first aid, prevention-employee and VCA-VOL certificates. For machinery, we opt for IPAF & TÜV (international) certification for the use of forklifts and aerial work platforms.
For each production we look at the possible risks (sometimes this happens already in the permit process) and we draw up a Production Risk Assessment. Depending on the location, we also apply the LMRA and also set up an alarm card.
What is very important, especially at events with multiple parties involved, is to frame who has which responsibility. Not only for the insurance but also for the parties that provide the permits, police and fire services that can advise and sometimes bear a shared responsibility. Yet you can not always exclude every risk and for that reason it is also very important to evaluate, even with a successful event.
4. How can you take the weather into account?
In addition to the usual apps, you can request a contact from the National Weather Stations to keep you up to date with the latest developments. At venues or temporarily structures there is often also a weather station or wind instrument installed where you can directly read what happens.
5. What is the biggest offense you have ever seen?
Most violations are often encountered abroad, where in some countries less attention is paid to safety requirements such as fall protection. Often routine is the biggest pitfall (“we always do it this way”). You have to keep on top of things and keep checking yourself.
6. Are there other important issues that you would like to add to the above?
Safety is often seen as an obstacle. It costs money and it doesn’t give an immediate return on the investment. However, we can’t stress enough that it is very important. So do not cut back on safety, because in case of an accident, it often costs a lot more. Furthermore make sure you have the right specialist for the job.
Would you like to know how Unlimited Productions can be of value to your next event? Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org