Venue Tech Saga – Bump in and Electrical Safety

The client has arrived and they start bumping in their gear. It all seems to going smoothly until you notice the electrical equipment that is coming. This raises your eyebrows, you need to stop what you are doing and go and check that this gear is safe. The tech sheets did not list that they were bringing in any electrical gear. So you go and chat to their technical person and tell them that you are going to need to check their electrical for safety and they take affront at that. They seem to think that you are implying that their equipment is unsafe. So you try and reassure them that you are only looking after their interests as well. You explain that is the gear is unsafe and someone is injured they are liable. They calm down and you quickly check their gear out and all is ok except for one item. So you let the client know about the item and the fact that they are not allowed to use the device until it is made safe. This does not go down well. They ask you to let it go, it is a weekend were would they get it fixed? It is only used once = they trot out all of the old excuses that we have all heard. You stand firm, they are getting more annoyed and threaten to complain to a higher authority. What do you do? I know I stand firm and just say no. I know it is against venue policy to allow something in that I deem unsafe, I know management will back me up. So how do you deal with the client now that they are annoyed? Well it is a god idea to have a copy of the terms and conditions of hire and all other relevant paperwork. These documents should have something about situations like this and it should have been signed by the clients representative. So you need to show the client in the nicest possible way that they have signed the document and therefore are aware of their obligations. Now if the item in question is just a simple test and tag non compliance, and the venue tech has a tester and the knowledge, they could offer to test the item and therefore it could be used. But if it is more than that it is prudent not to allow it to be used.

So as you can see, dealing with a client as a venue technician can be thwart with  a whole host of problems. Now there should be procedures available to the technician to deal with these sorts of problems and also a lot of common sense is required and at all times try and be pleasant to the client even if they are getting uptight. No point in getting into a heated discussion.

Next time I will deal with another issue.

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