January 9, 2015

Event Production Safety Considerations

When planning an event it is important to keep in mind the safety of your production staff, volunteers and of course your attendees. Here are seven safety considerations for producing your next event .

1. Power considerations

It is crucial to ensure that all equipment is properly grounded and in good condition.  Equipment should be tested frequently and visually examined for loose connections, exposed wiring or casing damage before connecting to secure power.

2. Tripping hazards

Cables should be tucked along walls, under cable mats or taped down to surfaces.  Stand legs need to be positioned outside of heavy traffic areas or properly marked with reflective or glow in the dark tape if they are in busy areas.

3. Rigging considerations

If you have a rigger working in your space they need to be certified and competent.  Riggers are trained to have their tools and items connected by safety cable to the structures they are working on and around.  Your attendees and other staff should not be working directly below a rigger and they should be wearing safety helmets if they are in the vicinity of potential falling objects.

4. Lifting

This is the most common form of injury in event production.  Lifting with the legs, asking for help and getting your body as close to the object you are lifting are all necessary preventative measures.  Clients and staff should not be ashamed to ask for help with larger or heavier objects and staff should not be asked to rush load in and load outs.  Steel toed boots are highly recommended to prevent objects from injuring toes.

5. Weather

Wind gusts can knock over speakers, blow away tents and take out materials hanging from truss potentially causing injury to your guests.  The production company should know how much wind shear the banners and other objects are able to withstand.  All production equipment should be rated for outdoor use or be located in secure weather resistant areas.  Power cables should be run in dry locations and have the proper safety rating for an outdoor environment.

6. Hearing Considerations

Your audio technician should be considerate of your hearing but the responsibility ultimately lies on the individual to not expose themselves to high sound pressure levels for even short duration’s of time.  Hearing loss can occur with sudden bursts of high sound pressure levels or by long term exposure to levels as low as 85dB. Always keep a pair of ear plugs handy for yourself, and consider having some available to your guests.

7. Emergency planning

Should an emergency arise your event production team should have a plan in place which includes:

  • Alerting the public.
  • Getting attendees and staff out of immediate danger.
  • Helping the disabled to safety.
  • Alerting emergency crews if necessary.
  • Attending to the wounded until emergency staff arrive.

These are just a few of the many important safety considerations for an event.  Do you have a safety plan in place?  What are some of the considerations we may have overlooked?