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April 16, 2008
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HEALTH AND SAFETY:The outdoor experience




Events organisers should be under no illusions about the growing importance of environmental issues when creating a live experience. EVENTS:review kicked off the year with a whole month dedicated to the subject, and that’s outside the coverage of a whole range of media. But this is just one aspect of the corporate social responsibility issues that face companies today, and that, consequently, need to be carefully considered when planning an event.

One such issue is health and safety, which is a more obvious concern with traditional, larger in-door events – with respect to fire, rigging, electrics, etc. However, it is just as important for smaller-scale outdoor experiences, and when children are involved, it is critical.

Live marketing agency Sense, recently created an experience for kids’ TV character Lunar Jim. It involved experiential activity in major shopping malls across the UK, and health and safety best practice had to be observed throughout the planning and implementation process.

 

Sense's Lunar Jim live experience

Sense's Lunar Jim live experience


“It was imperative that the criteria and a profile for the right type of promotional staff was agreed in advance with our client,” said Sense managing director Nick Adams. “This included all staff being CRB [Criminal Records Bureau] checked, professional experience of working with children had to be confirmed and references had to be supplied from previous employers.

“In addition, it was vital that prospective staff were interviewed face to face and the successful applicants had to be briefed in a formal meeting process, with all team members being fully aware of best practices – such as sensitivities of photography and video, child supervision processes, safety and parental endorsement and permissions required that were specific to the nature of the experience.”

Contingency planning was also put in place to include evacuation procedures, catering specifically for the management of minors.

“In fact,” continued Adams, “such is the prominent role of health and safety in experiential campaigns, that we felt it had to create some sort of guideline training.” And this is something that other marketing agencies would be wise to take note of.

Subsequently, Sense developed the first Event Manager Residential Training course, which has been accredited by the Institute of Commercial Management with specific emphasis attached to health and safety.

The areas covered are:
– Staff undertaking the necessary health and safety, hygiene and first aid training courses (both official recognised courses and internal ‘refresher’ initiatives)
– Equipment/materials complying with the right government legislation and site specific requirements
– Risk and method statements being completed for all activities with copies of documentation added to the promotional staff briefing file and held on site
– Staff being aware of the appropriate contingency plans – processes for consumer management in the event of fire, bomb alert etc.
– Teams being fully aware of roles and responsibilities and correct procedures for handling equipment and materials
– Ensuring copies of insurance documentation detailing minimum £10m public liability is held on site at all events
– Making sure correct regulations are adhered to with regards to staff working time, breaks and transportation

For more details about Sense’s training programme, call 020 7462 7070.


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