The live event industry covers concerts, fairgrounds, off-road racing and a host of other activities. Each of these has its own particular health and safety issues for workers and the public.
HSE (Health and Safety Executive) has produced guidance that includes the health and safety problems that organisers of live events may face. The guidance can also be of use to councils, all of whom have local live events throughout the year.
Organisers of live events must manage health and safety correctly. To do this they need to plan ahead. Such planning must include the creation of a health and safety policy, and a plan to put the policy into practice. Organisers must also ensure they monitor the effectiveness of the policy, and conduct regular reviews and audits.
In the live event industry, these requirements may be difficult. A live event may have a number of phases. Among these are the selection of a venue, the delivery of equipment, the construction of a temporary arena, and the show itself. Then there are issues such as rubbish collection, waste disposal and the removal of equipment from a site once a show is over. The best way to approach these from a health and safety perspective is to break the phases down. Organisers should look at the health and safety aspects of each phase and the risks.
A safety management plan may help. This can explain management levels of responsibility; the Risk Assessment of the live event; venue details; crowd management and site safety plans; and first aid, emergency and transport plans.
One of the most important aspects of a safety management plan is the risk assessment. This should evaluate all the risks involved in a live event. It should identify the workers who are at risk, and the precautions that are in place. It must also have a list of actions to reduce hazards to a minimum.
To create a good risk assessment, the organiser of a live event must approach health and safety issues in the right way. The managers of the process must show control, the willingness to communicate, and a competent, cooperative attitude.
Control is about remaining on top of all health and safety matters associated with a live event. An organiser can best achieve this with a safety management plan. Proper communication means that all workers involved with a live event know about the health and safety implications. This way, the possibility of accidents decreases.
Competence relates to the skills of those who work on the venue site. An organiser must ensure that contractors and subcontractors have the relevant qualities and knowledge to do their jobs safely. Finally, safety often depends on cooperation. Individual contractors, for instance, must be aware of the safety implications of their work on other workers.
Health and safety monitoring can ensure that control, communication, competence and cooperation are effective. This is when a safety co-ordinator can help.
Some live events may not seem large enough to justify such a person. But whatever the event, someone must have health and safety responsibility.