Health and Safety in Exhibitions
Health & Safety is one of the most important aspects of any event. Here at the SEC, our expert team are working hard to make health and safety as accessible and easy to understand as possible.
In this Clan of Experts, we sat down with the SEC’s Health & Safety Assistant, Kimberley Cassidy, who talks about how her team are making this happen.
Tell us about health and safety in the exhibitions industry…
“Health and safety is at the forefront of everyone’s mind in the exhibitions industry. Of course, we’d love to get to a place where nobody has an accident or is made ill by their work, but we have to accept that we are all human! It’s about minimising the chances of something going wrong and educating everyone involved in exhibitions about how to stay safe and healthy on site.”
How do you ensure people are engaged?
“A huge part of this is making health and safety documents not only interesting but relevant to a person’s job. All too often we see complex and lengthy health and safety procedures which disengage the user – leading to a lack of knowledge, understanding and buy-in.
“We’ve spent a huge amount of time reviewing our procedures to make sure that they’re as short and simple as they can be. This helps our team members, clients and contractors understand what they can and cannot do on our campus – reducing the chances of an incident happening.”
What happens once procedures are in place?
“Health and safety management requires continuous monitoring and revisiting of procedures. There’s no point in creating documents and just leaving them to gather dust – things like legislation, construction materials, ways of working, and the nature of events move quickly - it’s important to keep up with these changes. Procedures need to be living documents which are constantly being referred to and updated.”
Do you have an example of an effective procedure or plan you’ve put in place?
“Our latest Pre-Construction Information Pack is an example of where we’ve really worked to make it as user-friendly as possible. We have considered how people absorb, process and retain information and applied it to the document – for example, we’ve included pictures and symbols to make it easier on the eye; we’ve cut out unnecessary information and used every day language instead of health and safety jargon – so far, the feedback has been really positive.
“Keeping it short and simple is absolutely crucial when it comes to health and safety - less is definitely more! It’s a never-ending process but, for me, there’s nothing more important than seeing everyone go home safe and healthy at the end of their working day.”
What’s the best thing about working in health and safety?
“I love the fast paced nature and variety of my job - one minute I can be working up at height, the next I might be on stage in the The SSE Hydro inspecting special effects, then I might be presenting training to our team members. I have even been involved in a Police Scotland training rescue from height (I was the dummy!).
Health & Safety changes all the time – I enjoy keeping abreast of things and, most importantly, helping to make sure that all my colleagues go home safely at the end of the day.”