INDUSTRY VIEWwww.exhibitionnews.co.uk 37LONDON 2012'S HEALTH AND SAFETY LEGACY: BURDEN OR BENEFIT?ESSA/AEV's Lee Holloway reports on the changes to event health and safety enforcement brought about by the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and the trade associations' work with the HSE to get cheers, not groans, from our industry's key stakeholdershe London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games will be the biggest live event to take place in the UK, and the size and complexity of the site construction project (the largest in Europe employing over 12,000 workers) attracted both the scrutiny and the support of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) from the outset. Close involvement with the work onsite led the HSE to realise, and formally announce in late 2010, that it would be overseeing enforcement of health and safety at all events in terms of 'temporary and demountable structures'. This effectively added construction industry expertise and support to the UK's local authority teams that would continue to deliver overall enforcement of health, safety, food safety and other licensing at live events.Following visits to several more modest events, rumours quickly spread that the HSE was so concerned with the gap in standards it would apply complicated construction industry laws across the entire landscape of UK exhibitions and events to improve control and accountability. Many believed these laws would bring our industry to its knees. In the following months, however, the AEV, AEO and ESSA trade associations forged a relationship with the HSE which has led to a better understanding of the latter's concerns and intentions. POSSIBILITIES, NOT PROBLEMSIt would seem there is only good to be gained from the HSE's heightened insight and interest in the events sector, particularly in the context of the current political will to strip away the frustrating parts of the health and safety world.Participating in the trade association's seminar thread at the recent Event and Exhibiting Show, representatives from the HSE described The director of ESSA and the AEV, Chris Skeith, questioned the HSE on the common concern that the UK takes a completely disproportionate stance on health and safety compared with our European neighbours, and that this can lead to diffi culties when we are competing for international event business. HSE representatives Gavin Bye and Adrian Tinson were keen to point out the Lofstedt Review [launched in March 2011 by Professor Lofstedt] is likely to address some of the reasons behind this. STEPS FORWARDHowever, they agreed it was worth considering the whole picture in other countries where enforcement was not as tough but where imprisonment can be immediate once an accident occurs and that convincing mitigation is still required to avoid harsh punitive and compensatory measures. The associations will continue to work with the HSE to help ensure our industry does not go unnecessarily over-the-top with health and safety procedures. We also plan to paint what measures HSE does put in place in a positive light to exhibitors and other show participants. There are strong moral and economic grounds for robust (but proportionate) health and safety management. By working together, the associations and the HSE will ensure the legal framework and its interpretation present a benefi t as opposed to a burden to UK exhibiting and event production.- Lee Holloway is a member of the Institution of Occupation Health and Safety, Association of the International Institute of Risk and Safety Management, and health and safety advisor at the Event Supplier and Service Association (ESSA) and Association of Event Venues (AEV). TThere is only good to be gained from the HSE's heightened insight and interest in the events sectorhow they, with research partner the Health and Safety Laboratory, visited a number of shows in 2010 and indeed found areas that could benefi t from more structure. However, rigid enforcement of the Construction Design and Management Regulations was not something considered effective or benefi cial to events. The HSE's key observations included: Inadequately defi ned roles and responsibilities onsite; insuffi cient control of subcontractors and freelance personnel; poorly structured handovers; the absence of traditional 'toolbox talks'; the propensity for last-minute changes to design briefs leading to undertaking of unplanned or unassessed work; and improvements that could be made to the well-known areas of height working, manual handling and moving vehicles.CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISMEncouragingly, the HSE not only identifi ed concerns but has also provided solutions. As the various event stakeholder working groups continue to review its HSG195 'Purple Guide' the HSE has additionally published some useful 'top tips' on its London 2012 Learning Legacy website. These practical measures are often low-cost or even no-cost to implement. They include simple near-miss reporting/observation cards that can be used to spot unsafe behavioural trends before an accident actually happens, as well as suggestions such as attaching hand tools to lanyards to prevent objects from falling, or tighter segregation between people and vehicles onsite. This last one is probably one of the toughest for us to address in practice as an industry, but is always worth review. The associations have already begun to feed this information into various working party initiatives including the eGuide and Ops Network groups.
BUSINESS CLINIC38 www.exhibitionnews.co.uklearly the 'silver lining' of the recession is emerging at last. The recent AEO Awards were attended by 1,200 people, an increase of 40 per cent. It was rewarding to see stronger, fi tter and more buoyant companies networking. From a training perspective, it is encouraging to note more clients (both organisers and exhibitors) are releasing their budgets and developing their staff to take full advantage of the improved conditions.All around us we can see signs of companies (both B2B and trade and even retail) vying for our spend. Tempting offers, enhanced services and added value are all there to be found. The change seems to be that offers are now thrown at us whereas a few months ago they were only available if we asked. Are we as organisers, contractors and venues (or indeed suppliers to them) refurbishing our arsenal to re-induct our clients into doing business with us again?A REJIGAt a recent European events conference, we heard about how several international organisers are ADDING MORE VALUECClients are opening the purse strings to take advantage of improving market conditions. Simon Naudi asks whether your company is creative enough to win their business.profi ting through creativity. A simple re-jig of the fl oor plan is now yielding revenue increases of up to 30 per cent. They approached their top exhibitors and arranged a discount on condition the organiser could select a location for them. Competitors who wished to appear next to them were charged a premium far exceeding the 'discount' value and that left the hitherto premium stands available for sale. Other organisers offer incentives for early booking that are then strictly withdrawn after the deadline, while many provide creative sponsorship and added-value packages that encompass everything from furniture and electrics packs through to assisted marketing and PR services. Organisers are increasingly placing premiums and value on stand location within a hall, adjusting sponsorship packages and placing worth on the number of open sides or location to a feature area. Not all of these will be applicable to your event but they are just examples of how today's event manager is evolving ideas that will ensnare more exhibitors. It's all about fl exibility, value and exceeding expectations. They are value propositions in their own right or incentives and inducements for early bookers.CREATIVE THINKINGCreativity is the key here. Would your client appreciate a private meeting room, an after-hours reception, some time with a visiting dignitary or top fl ight business leader? Would a mini-hosted buyer programme be feasible or courtesy travel arrangement to and from the local airport or their hotel? As your plans and ideas become more creative, they may also become more and more expensive. In this event, how about reapplying that creative focus towards fi nding a keen sponsor for that service or facility? Maybe a contra would be possible or some way of providing the sponsor with a unique sampling opportunity.We really cannot afford to stand still when there is innovation all around us and everyone is striving to offer an even better deal to our clients. Learn from other industries by taking a good look outside your own area and see how airlines, hotels and any service industry is delivering. Take their ideas, improve them and you'll shine.- Simon Naudi is MD of the Answers Group.It's all about fl exibility, value and exceeding expectations1. Identify the hazardsFirst work out how people in your offi ce or work environment can be harmed. Walk around and identify obvious points, ask employees for input, access guidelines from a trade association, check manufacturers' instructions, refer to previous accident records and consider any long-term exposure side-effects.2. Decide who might be harmed and how Some workers may have particular requirements - new or young workers, expectant mothers or those with disabilities for example.3. Evaluate the risks and decide on precautionsThe law requires employers to do everything 'reasonably practical' to protect people from harm. Can you get rid of the risk? Or minimise its effects? Will protective clothing or washing facilities help?4. Record and implement your fi ndingsWrite down the risks and your fi ndings and share them with staff. Keep the list simple and clear.5. Review your risk assessment regularly and update if necessaryNew equipment, staff or offi ce changes can quickly make your fi ndings out-of-date, so regular reviews, updates and consultation on the level of risk is critical to ensuring a safe workplace.Excerpt from the Health and Safety Executive's guide to risk assessment 20115 STEPS....TO MINIMISING RISK IN THE WORKPLACESTAFF BUILDER The Government has launched a new mentoring scheme for small to medium businesses to improve access to and stimulate demand for mentoring in the private sector. A new Internet portal has been set-up to provide companies to help bring together those wanting to mentor, or seeking to be mentored. The Government has partnered with the UK's fi ve largest high street banks - Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group, Royal Bank of Scotland and Santander - to provide information on issues such as fi nance, marketing and HR. The scheme is part of the Better Business Finance campaign established by the Business Finance Taskforce. There are 200 current and retired staff behind the initiative."From my own experiences running a small business, I know how valuable insight can be from people who have done it all before," Business and Enterprise Minister Mark Prisk said. "Small fi rms are the lifeblood of our economy and we are determined to give them every opportunity to succeed and secure the long-term growth we need."More information is available at: www.mentorsme.co.uk.