UK - UK-based event safety consultancy Stagesafe reports the Health and Safety Executive's announcement that CDM Regulations will be enforced on the events and entertainment industry from April 2015.

The news was confirmed at last week's meeting of the Joint Advisory Committee on Entertainment (JACE) at the HSE in Westminster. The following report was produced by Michael Anderson and Lee Holloway, members of SAGE (Safety Advisors Group in Entertainment):

"This was an unexpected turn of events as it had appeared earlier this year that a "BEA" (Business Engagement Assessment) industry impact assessment process engaging with the event industry trade associations may have led to a decision not to enforce. But HSE stated that they had since received legal advice that not enforcing would breach European law and expose the government to international prosecution.

"For anyone not familiar - CDM (Construction Design and Management Regulations) is a piece of health and safety law being updated in April of next year. To date, HSE has chosen not to enforce the current law on the events and entertainment industry because it didn't fit, however the new, somewhat simplified version will, it now seems, be enforced after some two years of discussion. The main concerns surround some construction-centric management roles and responsibilities that it is feared may be difficult to map across to our sectors and may lead to enhanced liabilities for some.

"We do not know how and to what extent the regulations will be enforced. CDM is not just about structures, it's also about management systems, the way events are planned and sites are managed and that may get complicated for event organisers who do not understand construction-concentric management roles and small, armature event organisers who do not follow or understand normal event production methodology and terminology . . . but the large established promoters should have now real problems. In theory CDM could be applied to every event including charity events, music events, sporting events, theatre, film and TV, weddings, social occasions, product launches, children's parties, meetings, conferences, trade shows, exhibitions etc., both indoor and out. It could seriously affect just about everyone in the industry.

"Good news is that the Executive confirmed that enforcement activity on the industry will be "outcome focused" until guidance has clarified this type of detail. Industry representatives will be approached in the near future with regards to helping put that guidance together, so we will need a broad church of industry representatives to write the guidance to the regulations with and for the HSE; this guidance will cover the five strands of entertainment - TV & Film, Venues, Theatre, Outdoor Events and the Voluntary/Charity/Church sectors. The guidance needs the input of business leaders supported by the safety community: everything we write will have a cost and it is felt sure that there will be a lot more to come, so the concern is that due to the potentially vast cost of implementation for entertainment that we need business to lead and not safety professionals."

For more information, contact Chris Hannam at Stagesafe.

(Lee Baldock)

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