Well with OH & S so much in the news , it still startles me that some venues are not taking a pro-active role in this area in regards to their clients. There are quite a few venues, at least in South Australia, that are not getting their clients to do risk assessments. Now surely that is going to kick the venue in the butt. The purpose of the risk assessment is so that the client analyses their event and works out what risks there maybe and develops control measure for those risks. Now if the venue allows a client to enter a venue with dangerous equipment, staging or performance based tasks and then allows them to proceed they are therefore leaving themselves open to prosecution if something goes wrong. Now what is interesting is that some of these venues are schools that have theatres available for hire. Now you would think that schools would be more careful about OH & S matters. But it seems that they are not. They might be doing the right thing by their staff and students, but when you hire out a venue it is a whole different kettle of fish. They really need to be on top of this matter. It seems not and I dread the day that there is an incident, as this could affect the whole industry.
Schools are not the only ones that are guilty of this form of neglect there are probably a few council run venues that hire their theatres , halls etc that need to have a risk assessment document filled out by the client. These organisations need to present the clients with risk assessment paperwork to fill out at the time of the booking and also be available to help them with the task initially. There are plenty of examples on the web, let Google be your friend. The good folks at Worksafe SA or similar organisations in your state or country will also be able to provide you with resources to make the transition to the risk assessment process. We all know that the client is going to complain about the added work, but it is in their interest that this is done, and it is in the interest of the venue that it is completed. It should be a matter of course that the client is thinking about the safety of their performers, presenters, their own staff and the audience and venue staff as well. A lot of clients do not realise that the audience that they get along to their events is also their responsibility. And how many venues put their clients though a venue induction process? Explain evacuation procedures and OH & S matters? Another article will talk about that.
So guys get your act together before we have a serious incident and it has major repercussions on the whole industry. These venues that are not doing the right thing actually have a duty of care to their clients to make sure this is done. They are extremely negligent if they are not doing this as a matter of course. It should be part of their OH & S policy. It is not really that hard when you have the policies and procedures in place. so for God’s sake make it happen.