Just last year a man had an accident and died dismantling a marquee. Then Madonna’s concert stage in France collapsed. And then a second stage collapsed in Canada. 3 fatal accidents in as many months. And this year a stage being put up for Elton John collapsed.
It’s sobering reading for event managers, especially as there’s very inconsistent support or preparation for the level of responsibility that event management requires. So we were happy to see Alison McDougall, of Relevant Risk, turn the spotlight on the high stakes event managers are playing with when they’re ill-equipped to deal with health and safety standards:
It’s an impassioned warning- one we support wholeheartedly. Yet we also sympathise that event health and safety can be problematic- especially when areas of responsibility are blurred. When suppliers, subcontractors, freelance event managers and venues are all involved it’s hard to know who should be overseeing the H&S of each component of an event. And to confuse things even more, people don’t often have the same level of understanding of H&S regulations, if they have any at all.
Run by the Production Services Association, and set up by StageSafe’s Chris Hannan, The Safety Passport Scheme is a new universal, validated piece of basic H&S training that is shaping up to be more than just a piece of training. It’s becoming the foundation of a campaign, because the Passport can provide solutions to everything from high staff turnover and employers who don’t want to train short term freelancers to high insurance premiums.
It takes no more than one day, costs no more than £100, and issues a driving license style passport when completed. It’s this simplicity that means it can be the basis of such a campaign- because it will be widely taken up by the industry. And it’s very important that it is, because the more employers and the big organisations buy into it, the more weight the passport will carry.
So for employers who need to get new employees up to speed and on site as soon as possible; for freelance event managers who are responsible for their own training and can’t afford to take time off; for organisations bringing in contractors whose current training isn’t adequate- have a look at the Safety Passport Scheme. Let’s work together to give the industry a regulated standard.
Because if we don’t regulate ourselves, then others will.