Health and Safety
Possibly the first consideration for any working enviroment is Health and Safety.
Every consideration must be made for the well being of you, your staff, other personel and the spectators.
HSE (Health and Safety Executive) is the UK governing body for all related matters. They have the power to arrive on site unannonced and can shut any site down instantly if they find anything they consider to be unsafe or in breach of standard precedure.
HSE are and always will be totally uncompromising. They will use the letter of the law 100 percent.
Always remember that if an incident occurs the HS law says 'You are guilty untill proven inoccent'.
The 'Event' industry, which incorporates everything from the humble mobile disco / karaoke upto large scale festivals and tours has had a bad reputation in the past for its HS record. In more recent time the whole industry has had to grow up and fall in line with a mountain of rules and legislation.
Public Liability insurance is not optional when working in a public environment, its an absolute must. However this is no substitute for good safe working pratices.
Remember that SAFETY IS NO ACCIDENT!
It may be that you also need to have a written Method Statement and Risk Assesment for the works you intend to carry out. These documents will outline your working pratices and identify any dangers and the levels of danger in the work that is to be completed.
There is not enough space here to cover all the aspects in HS so we will only look at some basics here.
It is written as a series of questions you should ask yourself.
We would recommend further reading elsewhere. A good starting point is Chris Hannam's website 'www.stagesafe.co.uk'
Where are the entrances and emergency exits?
Where is the best place to load in?
Is there suitable space for the intended equipment to be installed?
Does the venue owner / operator have any rules you need to know about?
Power Supply and Connections
What and where is the nearest suitable source of power?
Has any temporary power distribution been signed of by a qualified person?
Is there a qualified person on site to advise you of the electrical layout?
Is there enough power to run the intended equipment?
Hanging, Suspension & Truss Building
What is the load rating of the suspension points / stands / trussing I will be using?
How will I reach up to the fixing / loading points?
Do any free standing or flying structures meet the required regulations?
Have I used the correct type of clamp to attach a fixture to a truss?
Have I attached a secondary safety bond/wire.?
Has the finished work been checked and signed of by a qualified person?
Do you have enough crew / staff to get the work done in the required time frame?
Does all crew/staff have the correct PPE (personal protective equipment)?
Have the crew/staff been properly briefed / trained on the tasks they will be asked to do?
Do you know where the nearest point of refreshments is (local shops etc)?
Do you know where the nearest emergency services are?
The author of this page takes HS extremly seriously and so should you. It is your responsiblity to ensure that everything you do is done in the safest possible way. Never take chances or risks. Never have a 'that will do' attitude. If you are not sure, DON'T DO IT!