Well here in Australia we are taking a good look at safety and it implications within the entertainment industry. The main implication is the lack of safe work processes would result in many injuries and therefore the government clamping down on our activities. So we as an industry need to be pro-active in regards to safety of the technicians, the artists and of course the audience. We need to be vigilant and look after each other. We have a duty of care to others as well as ourselves. Now if the information is difficult to understand and does not seem to have any relevance to our industry, mainly through the langauge, how do we find out. Well the groups below are making progress in developing guidelines that are written in an industry specific language for those in entertainment.
Well a lot of people are taking a large interest and are being pro-active in getting things done. They are not just sitting around talking they are actively trying to make things happen. There are at the moment 3 organisations that I know of that are working on guidelines, policies and procedures to aid us in making the industry safer and also to make the regulations easier to understand and follow. These groups are:
- ESAA – Entertainment Safety Alliance of Australia
- LPA – Live Performance Australia
- MEAA – Media, entertainment and arts alliance
So what are these guys doing?
The Event Safety Alliance Australia board is a group of entertainment industry leaders gathered to address the immediate need for universal safety standards for the production of live events.
Event Safety Alliance Australia came from a concern about the increasing number of stage accidents around the world in recent years.
Inspired by the success of the Event Safety Alliance in the USA (www.eventsafetyalliance.org) a group of event safety people came together to initiate a similar organisation in Australia.
Not only with the aim to improve event safety in Australia with realistic and practical advice but also to establish international contacts with similar organisations around the world.
A large part of our energy will go towards consultation with the industry and providing information and education for the industry.
One the things these people would like to see is the adoption of an adapted version of “The Purple Guide” with the goal of creating “The Event Safety Guide Australia,” a universal set of best practices for the industry. “The Purple Guide” is HSE document that is currently used in Great Britain. I suggest that people read it as it does have some useful info in it. They would also like us to adapt “Temporary Demountable Structures” with the goal of creating “Temporary Demountable Structures Australia” a universal set of best practices for the industry.
Live Performance Australia (LPA) is the peak body for the Live Performance industry. Founded in 1917, the organisation has been servicing the needs of the industry for almost 100 years and is today registered as an Employers’ Organisation under the Fair Work (Registered Organisation) Act 2009.
This group are also looking at a variety of documentation to make our job easier. At the ENTECH 2013 there was in fact some keynote discussions by this group and the progress that they are making. In fact they have been working on a revised version of “Entertainment Industry Safety Guidelines ” which were originally published in about 2005. They are working to bring it inline with the current WHS regulations that are being adopted around Australia. This document was one of the first to “translate” standards and regulations into stuff that us humble entertainment professionals understood.
Now this is the union for technicians, performers and media people and one of their key interests is the safety of their members, and their members going home at the end of a work day. These are the people to speak if you have any safety concerns at work and want someone on your side. It is best to be a member to access a lot of their services. So if your workplace seems to be ignoring safety, even in a small way, these people are work getting in contact with.
When you look at it safety is in fact common sense and the application of experience and knowledge to make sure that you get home after a gig. Experience and knowledge you will learn from others, training organisations, equipment makers etc. Common sense is something we all should have, you look at a task and go through the possibilities of it failing and then from this you work out the safest method for doing that task. You are in fact performing in your head a simple risk assessment. If you are not to sure on something you should ask, there is no such thing as a dumb question except the one that is not asked.