Fireside with Tim on risk & safety

29 November 2019 | Tips

With the silly season upon us, it’s important to stay safe these holidays. But it’s also important to remain safe on all your events throughout the year.

We caught up with WHS Manager Tim Cramsie for a quick fireside chat to hear his best advice on preventing, reducing and managing risks on your events.

Thanks for joining us Tim. What’s your best piece of advice for event professionals in preventing hazards on their events?

The most important question to ask yourself in regards to hosting safe events is; ‘What if?’ What if the power goes out? What if there’s a medical emergency? What if the room needs to be evacuated?

These scenarios are rare but what’s the plan if they do happen? Identifying the risk is the first step in both avoiding it and being able to manage it effectively. If you identify it, then you can control it. If not, you’ll be making it up on the spot.

It’s difficult to think of every potential risk or hazard, especially for busy event managers. Any tips?

The best thing to do is to throw your scenario out to someone who hasn’t been involved in the planning. They’ll be more objective and bring a fresh perspective.

Ask them to run through the event with you and see if they can think of any potential hazards you hadn’t thought of.

So what if something does go wrong and you hadn’t planned for it?

Issues often escalate because no one knows who’s in charge when something happens. Who makes the call to stop the show or evacuate? Is it the venue? The AV team? The end client?

Before the event begins, give one person the ultimate control about making the call. And inform everyone who that person is.

Many event managers we work with are highly experienced and have been organising events for a number of years. Do you have advice for them?

We’re all only human, no matter how experienced we are. In fact, I’ve found that the biggest mistake made by experienced managers is making assumptions.

For example, don’t take for granted your years of knowledge and experience. Someone new to your event will miss obvious hazards because to them, everything is a distraction and a new environment. Never assume someone has the same awareness or knowledge that you do.

What’s one tangible safety tip our readers can implement straight away?

For many of our events, we have the venue’s evacuation plan on standby ready to put up on screens in the case of an emergency. Request the plan from the venue before the event and ask your AV team to have it ready to go if it’s needed.

And lastly Tim, with loads of Christmas parties and end of year celebrations happening over the next few weeks, what should event managers look out for?

This time of year everyone’s quite stressed and fatigued. That can increase risks on events as you’re more likely to miss something. So make sure you look after yourself over this time too.

There’s also a tendency to focus on partying and alcohol around the holiday season, so just keep an eye on any overindulgent guests!

Thanks Tim, any last words?

Yes, be safe and have fun these holidays!

Have some more questions for Tim? Get in touch with him here.

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