Ever been to a big concert or festival event, ever wondered about the people who set them up and the rules they have to follow?
Music and other entertainment events are a real headache from a health and safety point of view, often taking place in venues not specifically intended for the purpose; fields, parks and other open spaces or stadiums or even ice rinks or pools. There has been little in the way of joined up thinking on the health and safety aspects, with guidance coming piecemeal from various sources, so, after four years of concentrated consultation, The Purple Guide to Health, Safety and Welfare at Music and Other Events has been published by the Events Industry Forum (EIF) which replaces the previous HSE (Health and Safety Executive) Guide which is now more than twenty years old.
The guide has been four years in the making to try to get all aspects covered from every angle. The input has been wide-ranging and has come from all elements of the music and entertainment business to ensure that nothing has been left out. The complex technology of sound stages alone is an enormous area which needed to be covered point by point, not to mention the crowd control, food concessions, toilet facilities and first aid. Safety training for such an enormous project is very difficult and although safety training courses delivered by Boss Training are totally comprehensive, it is unrealistic that one person could ever know everything necessary – this is why the Purple Guide has been published, to get all the knowledge under one roof.
The Best Bits have now got Better
The old Purple Guide has been the blueprint for the latest one, because it was well designed and accessible in use. The one huge improvement is to get it online, where its 23 chapters can be constantly updated. When issuing health and safety guides for any sector with so much technology involved and such enormous numbers of people potentially to be managed, it is essential that every new upgrade or innovation can be incorporated in the guide in a form that can be accessible immediately. A printed guide needs new editions, which takes time; an online guide can be assessed regularly so nothing is every yesterday’s advice.
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The Purple Guide is available online for a fee of £25 at www.thepurpleguide.co.uk and once downloaded, staff can use it to check what they are doing or it can be used for in-house top-up training if something important has changed. Safety training courses should in any event be repeated at regular intervals not just because things may have moved on. Staff who do the same work repeatedly can become rather complacent and corners may be cut, even in the best trained workforce. Some elements of music event set-up can be against the clock, and this is when accidents can happen if staff are not totally up to date and aware with the health and safety directives relevant to their tasks and, to an extent, those of others.
Article written by Rebecca Fearn, freelance copywriter who often writes about healh and safety for Boss Training.