Health and Safety in the music events industry
November 19, 2014
Events and particularly music events require much planning and thought beforehand. In most cases it is recommended that a team is put in place to take control of this planning process . The risks must be considered and solutions put in place. Paying extra attention to laws and legislations can ensure you are providing a safe environment for both workers and audiences alike. This includes The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Noise at Work Regulations 2005. Here at Airsweb we are constantly striving to create software that makes assessing risks and finding health and safety solutions easier and more effective.
We understand that every event and business is unique and that advice must be sought from other sources including the local authorities and emergency services. Below are just a few areas to think about when planning a music event.
Having many contractors on site, can provide an issue where health and safety is concerned. Asking contractors to provide their own health and safety policies, as well as detailing where the risks may lie during their work can prove beneficial. Permit management can also be a complex process if paper based, especially when dealing with multiple contractors from multiple organisations. Before the arrival of contractors or outside workers to a venue, ensure there are clear safety policies and requirements and that these are communicated to and understood by all involved.
Access and Exit
Consideration needs to be taken for how your audience will both access and exit a music venue. Temporary traffic signs may be needed or event marshals to guide traffic to the correct location. When traffic then reaches your venue, the parking must be well thought-out in order to include both the audience’s individual vehicles, coaches, as well as artist and staff’s vehicles.  When planning any event, the entire customer journey must be thought about. Once visitors leave their vehicles, their journey on foot is still important. Ideally pedestrians should be segregated from vehicles access areas. If this is unavoidable, safe crossings and routes should be put in place.
Sound and particularly volume is obviously a huge consideration at any music event. High sound levels can present a risk to the audience. This is both because of the effect high volume may have on hearing and because of the high levels of vibration. It is a requirement of The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Noise at Work Regulations 2005  that employers and event organisers protect both their workers and audience from noise and vibrations. Sound and vibration levels should be monitored during rehearsal, along with sound check and performances to ensure full control is kept and adjustments can be made.
In order to plan for crowds in any event there must be clear knowledge of numbers, types of staff or stewards on hand, how they will organise themselves and who is in command. Dealing with crowds is not about controlling people but rather about understanding crowd psychology and dynamics in order to manage them accordingly.  A risk assessment including an emergency plan and a first aid plan must be put in place to be prepared for crowd surges, injuries and other major incidents including crowd clashes with neighbouring sports and social venues.
Social media has risen astronomically at events in the last 3 years, acting as a ‘live feed’ for all activity from wedding proposals to updates on bar queues. However it is also an instant “panic button” if not measured, assessed or planned for. Managing social traffic at events is key to managing potential issues with crowds, possible incidents and ensuring all known issues are tracked and responded to.
This is just a small snippet of the areas that need to be considered for music events taken from Simon Garrett’s key note speech, Friday November 14, Airsweb User Conference.
Simon’s keynote on the “Risk Assessment of a Concert” was well received by Airsweb’s user community as they got to exclusively to hear from an expert on the key issues of risk management and health and safety processes surrounding music events.
For more information on how a risk assessment module can become an integral part of your QHSE programme click HERE or speak to a member of the team today on 0151 289 6811.