Andrew Harrison talks to Hospitality & Events North magazine about the science behind H&S for events, which helps reinforce ESSA’s own goals in this area for the sector.

Academic research into our industry is often few and far between, yet recent research into the science behind H&S for events, the first of its kind for the industry, not only provides some valuable insight. but also helps reinforce ESSA’s own goals in this area for the sector.

The research, conducted by Chloe Batchelor, Event Health & Safety Consultant and Behaviour Scientist, explored perceptions around safe working behaviour in the events industry. By interviewing and conducting research with various event professionals, including ESSA members, she concluded that five primary working resources were required for safe working behaviour – time, access, materials, plans and people.

Lack of time, lack of necessary materials and a lack of more developed plans were some of the most commonly listed as areas of limiting opportunity. Moreover, the lack of easy access was the most cited reason for unsafe work behaviour in the study.

ESSA has been working hard to provide more opportunities for all to communicate these needs better, such as through the introduction of the ESSA Event Portal, our resource for organiser companies to use to support event suppliers, providing a central place for the supply chain to be able to better plan and design. ESSA is calling on the industry to now use this resource or lose a golden opportunity to improve communication.

Concerning time, tight turnarounds for events will always be an issue, but working quickly shouldn’t come at the cost of safety. Instead, as an industry, we should look at interventions that target opportunity, such as restructuring the environment where possible, to help ensure safe working even against time constraints.

We must therefore all become better at planning and communicating ahead of time and be safe in our knowledge and skills, many of which can be further honed and enhanced through approved H&S training courses such as the ESSA Individual Inductions for example and at company level via the ESSA H&S Accreditation to help support safer working during build-up and breakdown.

Published in the May edition of Hospitality & Events North magazine



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The Event Supplier and Services Association (ESSA) is a trade body representing the very best contractors and suppliers of goods and services to the UK’s thriving events industry.

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