Ticking all the boxes – Health & Safety
Andy Dixon - February 2018
With February around the corner and love in the air…we are proud to shout about our Project Manager who openly admits her love for Health & Safety?
Scene2 Senior Project Manager Laura North speaks out….
“I love my job…I love making lists and especially using my highlighter to cross things off it!
Every project has its own list and every list should have Health & Safety as a key focus. Risk assessment, method statement, installation manuals, materials fire certification, tool lists (including; first aid kit, accident book and sub-contractors safe handling declarations) all need completing for each project and despite having worked in many locations on multiple occasions, most of our projects are bespoke and have never been built before so the RAMS are new too!”
Laura comments that, following recent national events that have hit the red light on Health & Safety, Scene2 have found attention to health & safety in projects is becoming an increasingly crucial part of each job.
“It has obviously always been essential that health & safety is adhered to on all projects and we have always insisted it’s done properly. Increasingly, our clients are seeing it as a necessary component to ensuring a successful campaign and not just red tape for us all to cut through. For example, in Exhibition Stand design and production, one of our industry sectors, the UK exhibitions industry attracts in excess of 13 million visitors annually which makes public/visitor safety a priority in the execution of any project. We are experts in producing giant props for exhibitions, which usually means we build very tall things! Ever changing rules and regulations make due diligence an increasingly important part of our role within a project.”
Scene2 Director, Susan Walker says “In our experience of working in the big UK venues like NEC & Excel, our clients who make the space bookings and then approach us to design and build their stand, are overwhelmed by the paperwork that they are given to complete. Where clients have engaged us to design, build and install their stands we can do this at no extra cost.”
Laura goes on to say, “We are proud to offer to take the headache away as part of our service to clients. Each show’s rules and regulations differ but the headache remains in taking the time to read everything thoroughly to ensure compliance. Even with my 7 years’ experience, I can take more than a couple of hours to read through the forms, associated notes and guidance documents thoroughly, which to the inexperienced eye, can seem a minefield of information. We have the time and expertise to fill out all the forms and, some may say sadly, I actually enjoy it!”
Laura has given her top tips to consider:
- Structural Calculations….will be required if a stand is over a certain height and/or in a specific location. This usually has to be done by an external engineer so it’s worth factoring in when setting your production budgets.
- Dreaded deadlines…..timelines are always short and sometimes impossible. It is good to work with experienced suppliers who have good relations with venues and can usually get quick answers when the clock is ticking. In our experience when clients want something different or an idea to push the boundaries, quick response and understanding from the venue is important in making things happen. The best venues are not averse to innovative stand ideas, in fact they love an idea that will raise the profile of the show and their venue but it has to be workable and possible. An experienced Project Manager, who already has good experience and relations with a venue, is invaluable. If both sides work together, the best ideas come to life!
- Experienced Partnerships… before and during stand design/build ensure all H&S regulations are met and compliance is kept to. It may sound scary but ensuring H&S is executed properly saves time and money and is imperative to protect both staff and the general public. Seeking experienced partners who can help guide you through this process will give you confidence when planning future shows. Luckily some of us find it satisfying submitting that completed form!!
Laura North has been Project Manager for Scene2 for 7 years and has led the team in successful execution of experiential projects and exhibition stands for clients including World Vision, JWT, Frukt, SP Group, Itsu, Kudox, ALUK, YouTube and Café Pod