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28 Oct 2016

Report: Cross Association Health & Safety Working Group Oct 12 2016

The last cross association Health and Safety Working Group meeting of the year took place at ExCeL London, on October 12th with 34 members in attendance and Sarah Cox in the chair. After thanking ExCeL London for hosting the event, Cox acknowledged the apologies from members unable to attend, and welcomed the many new members to the group.

Following the approval of the minutes of the last meeting, the group then moved to the main discussion topics, starting with the ‘Stop the Drop' initiative, aimed at raising awareness of working at height regulations. With increasing interest from the HSE in working at height, this initiative comes at a very appropriate time. Chris Skeith, AEO CEO, appraised the group of progress, noting that the initiative was almost complete and ready for launch at the ESSA Conference on November 24th. Skeith explained that the initiative, delivered by the Events Industry Alliance (EIA) will be backed up by on-line resources, training materials and galleries, and association members would be allowed to use ‘Stop the Drop' collateral and brand it as their own. Members all agreed to pledge their support for the campaign through the display of collateral in exhibitor manuals, email footers, contractor briefings etc. Organisations pledging their support to the campaign will be listed on the website.

Following the discussion of the ‘Stop The Drop' campaign, ESSA's Stand Builders Forum (SBF) provided an update from their recent meeting which included working at height, as well as feedback from the HSE who were in attendance. There was a good exchange of views between all at that meeting, with the HSE continuing to help us as an industry to improve.

Chris Morrison then led the group in a discussion of electrical competency, and whether it can be reliably certificated and ratified. Morrison explained that the Electrics Technical Committee had been looking into electrical competency for some time, as there is currently no way to ensure that electrical installations have been checked by competent electrical engineers. It was noted that an ESSA scheme to maintain a competency register had stalled owing to a lack of engagement, and that there was no authorising body currently able to provide accreditation or examination/auditing. The Electrics Technical Committee had asked its members to go back to their companies and speak to their senior management about possibly buying into a competency register scheme and will update the group on progress at the next meeting.

The next topic for discussion was accident reporting, and it was disclosed that this has been discussed at senior level within the EIA board which has inquired whether accident statistics are compiled and shared across the three associations. Jonathan Smith reminded the group that this topic had been aired a few years ago, and it had been a highly contentious issue. The group noted that having the associations collect accident statistics could lead to under-reporting of accidents if there was any doubt or lack of clarity over how the information would be used. Members were asked to take this topic back to their organisations and return to the next meeting with feedback.

Moving on to the topic of AEO Ops Forums 2017, the group heard from Skeith that the next AEO Ops Forum will take place on January 27 2017 at the BDC, with Chloe Batchelor in the chair, and will be looking at disabilities. Group members were invited to feedback their experiences with reference to particular scenarios, and give estimates of the percentage of attendees with a disability, and whether there were any apparent trends in operation.

Rachel Parker, AEV director, then addressed the group, announcing that two volunteers had stepped forward willing to chair the group. Parker explained that Paul Brough would take over as chair following the meeting, and that Alison Treacher would then assume the vice-chair, with a view to swapping roles after 12 months. Parker thanked the chair, Sarah Cox, for chairing the group so effectively over the last two years.

With the discussion points and substantive issues dealt with, the group mooted a number of agenda items for the next meeting, including forklift truck operations, a ‘Stop the Drop' campaign update, an update from ESSA's SBF on working at height, an update from the Electrics Technical committee and feedback from group members on accident reporting. Two dates were suggested for the next meetings of the committee, Wednesday April 26 2017 and Wednesday October 11 2017. Members were asked to contact the AEV if they would like to host either meeting.

Before closing the meeting, the chair called for any other business, and Ian Solomon of i2i reminded the group the AEV had circulated i2i's ‘CDM Site Induction Communication Arrangements' document for comment and feedback, but that none had been received yet. Members were asked to scrutinise the document and send their feedback to AEV.

Paul Brough asked the group if any members had experienced organisers insisting on toe-capped safety footwear on site, and using this as an opportunity to sell footwear. Harrison remarked that he had been notified of three instances of this happening, and it was noted that it seemed to be on the rise.

Kim Dance informed the group that an update to the connectivity section of the eGuide regarding the regulating of wireless equipment has been issued and that all association members have been notified about this in recent email communications.

With all business concluded, Sarah Cox thanked all members for attending and closed the meeting.



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