I recently attended a seminar hosted by M&IT Magazine about how the new Corporate Manslaughter Act affects the event industry. Very interesting it was too.......
The Act sets out a new offence for convicting an organisation where a gross failure in the way activities (events) were managed or organised results in a persons death. Under a new approach, the courts will look at management systems and practices across the organisation, providing a means for prosecuting the worst failures to manage health and safety properly.
So, you ask, how does this directly affect us folks in the events industry. Well, one of the most shocking scenarios I heard was the case of a delegate at a sales meeting. The client provides an open bar for three hours after dinner as a thank you for a great year; the delegate foolishly decides to drive home, has an accident and dies. The event management company that organised the sales event could be prosecuted for providing limitless alcohol and failing to ensure the delegates travelled home safely.
Whilst this is a pretty harsh hypothetical situation, it does highlight just how exposed event organisers are without the correct event risk assessment procedure in place. At The Conference People we carry out thorough risk assessments before and during every event we manage. Not only are the risks at the venue assessed, but also suppliers (A/V, coach hire, DMC's) are forced to provide their own risk assessments and health and safety policies too. Only by regularly assessing and managing risks, and then communicating these risks to the event organising team, can you ensure a safe event for delegates, staff and clients alike.