Safety Guidelines for Live Entertainment and Events Update

This is one of the seminars that I attended at the recent Entech Connect held in Melbourne in July 2014. It is great to see that the industry is working hard on getting a set of guideline together for our industry. They have achieved a hell of a lot in the last couple of years and soon we will see fruition of some of their work at the end of August if the pieces all fall into place. The lead organisation is  Live Performance Australia, and they are working with a variety of people across our industry putting together in what is a complex task a series of hazard guides. These hazards include: rigging, electricity, chemicals, heights etc to name a few.

Now the purpose of this update was to let folks know that they have completed five guides so far. These being Rigging, Chemicals, Electricity, General operational and height. They are currently have another seven in development.

These guides place a stronger emphasis on hazard identification and risk management, in line with the new legislation. Connections are made with legislation, the codes of practice, Current Australian and NZ standards and also with consultation with related industries. They is a strong emphasis placed on consulting the folks doing the work and strengthening the skills of workers, accredited training and licensing.

Each guide will have 3 sections, the first part outlining the regulatory framework, duty holders and responsibilities, enforcement, how to manage compliance, communication, consulting, competency and training. Part two covers, hazard identification and risk management, principles of risk management, risk assessments inc. template, understanding hazards, event hazard checklist, safe work method statements including a template.  Part three will be the hazard guide for the area that the hazard may occur, such as rigging or lighting.

The purpose of the guides is to assist the venue technician,event organisers to assess the a situation. These guides build on to the legislation and current codes of practice. In fact it could be  best practice, they are based on what is already there but are written in a way an event practitioner can understand and therefore assess their show or event and do it in the safest possible way.

It is great to see the industry take the bull by the horns and come up with guidelines with consultation of the industry So much better than the government stepping in heavy-hand and stomping over our industry because we were slack.  The government does not understand our industry and the first time we have a major incident they would clamp down on us. This way we are having a set of “best practice” type documents outlined that will give us guidance and make us think twice before doing something dangerous. Being proactive is going to save lives. It will get us to examine how we go about tasks and if we don’t know how it will hopefully encourage us to ask an industry professional how to.

I am, and I am sure plenty of others, are looking forward to the next step in this process. I like to go home to my loved ones at the end of a shift.

Entech Connect 2014

On a chilly Melbourne morning I wandered over to the Royal Exhibition Hall to have a look at my first Entech Connect. While smaller than the Entech show in Sydney there were a good range of equipment to look at and listen to. There are also a wide range of education sessions and seminars for all to attend. But networking seems to be the name of the game, I was one of those meeting and greeting folks that I have had known for a while. So it is great to chat with like minded folk over the latest lighting or audio piece of equipment. I will right more about a couple that caught my eye in a later article.  The seminars are very relevant and give people a chance to see what is coming and the future of our industry. The culture of safety also was one of the main topics of discussion and it is great to see our industry taking a mature attitude to making sure we do it right and everybody gets to go home in one piece. This will be also a topic of a later blog post. So if you happen to be in Melbourne it is well worth visiting. I will be returning on the second day to continue were I had left off with the networking and attending more interesting seminars.

Below are some photos from the first day of the event.

Pre trade show ramble

Entech Connect 2012 new

What do you look for in a trade show?
Are you there to network or is all the equipment that is on show just techie porn. There are several reasons to attend trade shows. I am going to the Entech Connect trade show to attend some education sessions and report on some of the gear that is on show, and maybe catch up with distant mates and Facebook friends. But others maybe there to look at what is new and maybe spend up big. It is also a great way to network with suppliers, other service providers and possibly with new customers. Everybody is wanting to make a good impression, make good deals and go home with more knowledge than when they arrived.There are some that take it all very seriously, but to me it is time to relax and enjoy to new gear, the information. Make new friends, network, talk to people about your tech problems and how you overcame them. Share your knowledge with new and old alike. Listen to what others have to say, you may find a solution for your tech problems.

So see you there.


The Battle between LED and Traditional lamps

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The battle between LED Vs Traditional lamped wash lights starts at ENTECH CONNECT with the MAC QUANTUM

ENTECH CONNECT will officially host the Australian Premier of Martin’s Quantum Wash spot at the Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne between the 23-24 July.

Show Technology teased the Australian market earlier this year with what they could expect to see and are now ready to fully showcase the full production version of the Martin’s Quantum Wash and believe it’ll raise a few questions as well.

Mark McInnes, Show Technology’s Sales & Marketing manager said “The MAC QUANTUM wash is super bright, using a massive 750Watts of LED power, yet it maintains a very flat field and can punch way above its weight in the LED Vs Traditional lamped wash output power battle. Does this fixture spell the end to all large ‘lamped’ wash lights..? You be the judge”.

ENTECH CONNECT Event Manager Stephen Dallimore commented “We are very excited for the lighting community this year, as there is so much for them to see in Melbourne next week, perhaps more than any ENTECH show before.

“Lots of people within the industry have been asking us to see the mighty MAC QUANTUM and now we can all finally see what all the fuss is about. With such a large group of our customers and end users based in Melbourne and Victoria ENTECH CONNECT is a great resource for us. I urge all in the industry to clear their diaries and to come and see the best of the best at the Royal Exhibition Building this coming Wednesday and Thursday” added Mark.


To be one of the first people to see the full production of Martin’s Quantum wash in Australia, please register free at . Visit the Show Technology / Martin on Stand C18 to see the full range and meet the team”.

MAC quantum

Knockoff & Unsafe Equipment

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ENTECH CONNECT is proud to announce that it will be hosting a discussion and presentation on Knockoff & Unsafe Equipment its impact across the Australian industry. A panel of key industry experts from manufactures to end users, will come together to discuss this growing problem and its effects on the industry.”

Facilitated by Julius Graton (CX Media), the esteemed panel includes:
• Steve Devine, Meyer Sound / ACETA
• Frank Andrewartha, Quest Engineering / ACETA
• Peter McKenzie, Philips Selecon / ACETA
• Andrew MacColl, Staging Connections

This free to attend session, will provide an exclusive insight for everyone in the industry on this growing problem, whilst covering the following topics;

• What is a knockoff and what isn’t?
• Not everything from China is a knockoff
• Involvement from organised crime in the counterfeit industry
• Economics & Insurance issues
• Safety compliance issues and Exposure to legal action?

The session will be held at ENTECH CONNECT from 2pm – 3:00pm on Thursday 24th July 2014 at the Royal Exhibition Building, Carlton Melbourne. Information on the panellists can be found at

NEWS: Adelaide City Council to control sound levels at major music events

The Adelaide City Council has recently voted to impose special monitors on what they call “high risk” events. Such events are concerts, festivals or other events where noise levels may be breached. They have proposed that special sound monitors are installed that would cut power or something similar if the event exceeds a certain noise level. Bureaucrats that work for the city council will be given powers on whether to install these “sounds pressure level limiters” that are likely to be set at about 110 decibels. Now it will be interesting where the council intends to set up the monitor, we would hope at the mix position. Councillor Plumridge, who proposed this action also wants the bonds increased, but this motion failed. This all seems to come about due to the last Soundwave Festival, in March,  that had attracted a total of 6 noise complaints. 3 of these complaints were from one resident.

It will be interesting to see how festivals and sound engineers react to this in future events.

WOMAD 2014. Photo by S. Dean

WOMAD 2014. Photo by S. Dean



Safety – some don’t get it

At times it seems that the safety message is getting through, that is until you come across some rather disturbing images on the Dodgy Technicians Facebook page. Over the last day of so a couple of pictures from River Sessions (held in Mackay, Queensland) have emerged which show what looks like a rather badly built stage 3. It appears from the images that the roofing and truss are held up by simple winch ups. These types of winch ups are not fit for the purpose to support a roofing structure outdoors. There appears to be know guy cables to hold it down to the ground if the wind gets up. If things went wrong and this structure came down on people there would be hell to pay. Everyone from techs working on the show to the promoter are all likely to be looked at by the Workplace Health and Safety Queensland. If you look at the photographs in question you can see what is potentially wrong.

Now I am basing my assumptions on some photos and what other are saying online. The photos seem genuine as they had been taken by punters at the event. I am also only talking about one stage that was at the event I have not seen any other pictures of the other stages so I will not be commenting about them.

Surely these days event organisers are aware of their responsibility’s to everybody on site. There must have been a site risk management plan and surely a safety officer on site that knew what to look for, and the techs working on this event must have questioned the safety of this particular structure. To quote from Workplace Health and Safety Queensland website:

“Public events

Safety at public events is the responsibility of the individual or group conducting the event.

Many public events are commercial enterprises, such as speedway racing, professionally run sporting events and music festivals. However, there are also other public events that are held as fund raising activities for charities or not-for-profit organisations, such as fun runs.

Duties under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 for people conducting public events

When a public event is conducted by a person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU), the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (PDF, 1.42 MB) (the Act) applies and the PCBU must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable:

  • the health and safety of workers in the workplace
  • that work carried out as part of the event does not put the health and safety of participants or spectators at risk
  • the work environment is without potential risks to health and safety
  • plant and structures are safe
  • systems of work are safe.

In doing what is reasonably practicable, the PCBU must meet the standard of behaviour expected of a reasonable person in their position who is required to comply with the same duty and is:

  • committed to providing the highest level of protection for people against risks to their health and safety
  • proactive in taking measures to protect the health and safety of people.

Patrons attending an event may encounter health and safety risks when attending an event. For example, when visiting the saddling up yard at a horse racing event, or by participating in a fun run.

An event organiser needs to anticipate the likelihood that patrons will be exposed to risks to health and safety and provide reasonably practicable control measures in response. These can include:

  • increasing supervision
  • providing information and signage
  • providing barriers and/or restricting entry to certain areas or activities.

Workers and other persons such as patrons at public events conducted by PCBUs also have a duty of care under the Act to:

  • take reasonable care for their own health and safety
  • take reasonable care that they do not adversely affect the health and safety of others
  • comply with reasonable instructions given by the PCBU.”

So anyone that is organising and running an event can actually find out what their requirements are under the law from this particular website. There are also people out there that can give advise in regards to safety. So why is this sort of thing still happening? did they go for the cheapest option? Is the profit more important than safety?

If you are an Event Manager/ Promoter etc please actually consider WHS. If you think it is too hard, well give up and get another job. We don’t want you in this industry jeopardising our lifes. Work, Health and Safety are a fact of life and has been for many years. You need to look after the folk working your event and the punters, because if they get injured or killed because you had been slack with you risk assessments and plans you are going to feel the full weight of the law. If you have not made sure that the event is as safe as possible and you have planned for any contingency you will injure or kill someone.  Going for the cheapest option could end up costing everybody more. As an industry this would mean so much red tape and regulation that it would kill off a lot of shows. We as an industry do want to do it safely, but it seems there are cowboys out there. These cowboys could destroy what the industry is working towards, a safe place to work and the chance to go home at the end of the day.

For further information I would also keep an eye on the good publication CX, either in print or online as I imagine Julius and the team are right on top of this as well, and likely to get even more information than I can.