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Exhibitions & Conferences - Day 3 of 10. The Competent Person

Competence for health and safety

Wednesday, 3rd December 2014 

In this our 3rd news / blog, our focus is upon competence in safety and health management for people who work in the field of exhibitions and conferences. We are chosing some important areas from the e-Guide for Exhibitions and Conferences and adding some tips of our own.

This term COMPETENT PERSON does not always mean having formal qualifications or being a practitioner but when you are dealing with overlapping work activities and large numbers of visitors it is not a good idea to 'dabble'.

A qualified, skilled and experienced competent person will know your industry, whatever it may be (in this case, exhibitions and conferences) and they will be able to bring many skills 'to the table' which are not normally found within an events team. That is, a dedicated presence to oversee what is happening and bang-up-to-date learning, experience and practices. They will be able to advise you from planning to de-brief. They will create or help you create your safety file, ensure you provide arrangements for avoiding incidents or helping you to prevent incidents becoming something worse. 

If you thought of your activities as a construction site, would you be happy for the site to lack a knowledgable health and safety manager? of course not. That is how, over the last 40 years the UK has reduced fatalities, serious incidents and time off work due to injuries massively. In fact, many exhibitions and conferences do come under the same regulations as building sites, a fact that has been overlooked for quite a while now. But that is no longer the case.

In short, the competent advice of a 'floor manager' as they are sometimes known is essential. 

The decision to make is whether to employ someone for this role, train up someone for this role or to hire in 'competent' person skills from time to time? Our advice for this type industry is any of the above. We definitely discourage attempts as d.i.y. They might look good, copied from one professional document to other events but every singe page is thought out and worded for a particular occasion at a specified site, using certain contractors etc. They are rarely exactly replicated so safe systems of work and legal requirements may vary significantly or even delicately in a way which might tip towards unsafe conditions which may not be know of until too late.

 Meet the team. Why not have a look at the competences of our team.

To see other news / blogs in this series, click on the tab above right.

For further advice or assistance from The Safety Organisation our contact details are at the top right corner of all pages of our web site.