Fatal mistakes – and how best to avoid them

Confirming the line-up, attracting sponsors and devising an effective marketing strategy are challenges enough for festival organisers, so it’s not surprising if the red tape surrounding festival health and safety gets side-lined by some, leaving them struggling to meet the all the requirements of the Licensing Act within the stipulated deadlines.

Gallowglass Health and Safety, offers a helping hand to guide novice organisers – or those whose festival has rapidly grown in recent years, through the essential paperwork and actions that will deliver a safe and legally-compliant event.

Planning for emergencies

Steve explains that organisers who don’t work proactively with the local authority’s Safety Advisory Group on festival health and safety may find their Premises Licence application refused or revoked, so the role of an experienced and qualified safety co-ordinator is essential, as is the creation of an Event Safety Management Plan, covering risk assessments, emergency planning, safety induction for staff and site inspections.

Safe working environment

For those organisers that are discovering these finer points of festival health and safety for the first time - and late in the planning process - Steve recommends bringing in an experienced external consultant who will be able to rapidly put together check lists and documentation covering every aspect of risk management, emergency procedures and welfare. They’ll also monitor on-site equipment and working practices to ensure a safe environment. Every festival carries the potential for a serious accident, or even fatality, warns Steve, so taking an early and proactive approach to festival health and safety is the best way to ensure an incident-free event. Read the full article here

About the author

Managing Partner, Gallowglass Health and Safety

One of the event industry's leading Chartered Safety and Health Practitioners, Steve started out as a roadie for The Clash. Working on subsequent rock tours, he became increasingly interested and qualified in safety-related matters. Having formed his own consultancy in 2005, Steve joined forces with Gallowglass in 2010 to create Gallowglass Health and Safety, offering advice, training and consultancy on live production, arena, festival, TV, film, overseas and global sporting events.

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