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.

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