INTEGRATE FOR BETTER HEALTH AND SAFETY
These days everyone in our industry is looking at costs. But what if there were a way to save money without compromising health and safety? Heath Freeman, managing director of Pinnacle Crew believes there is – indeed that efficiency and health and safety can even be improved – by creating better integrated teams on site.
In a previous life I was a teacher and a sports coach, and it became very apparent from the onset that knowledge was the key to building and successful sports team, besides all the hard training. This knowledge was about knowing what we were trying to achieve and how we are going to go about achieve this goal without team injuries.
I believe the same principles apply in our industry, especially on site as this is where all the hours, days and months of preparation that have been put in by the production company come to fruition. The last thing anyone wants on site is different people working to different objectives. Not only is this inefficient, it compromises health and safety.
Overcoming this is not rocket science. Quite simply, creating a unified goal-orientated team working safely on site requires the proper integration of the production team and outside contractors.
But before proper integration can be reached, I believe there are three they key steps that need to be taken at every event.
First, introduce outside contractors to all personnel and decision makers on site. This can save time during the job since contractors will know exactly who to speak to when something unexpected happens or they need advice.
Secondly, contractors should receive a good briefing. This may seem obvious, but how can the contractors possibly appreciate what the client is trying to achieve without knowledge? A short, detailed briefing means that contractors know exactly what is expected of them and what the deadlines are. The most important factor in this briefing should be information on what has already been carried out on site. This will help contractors avoid any risks by making them fully aware of health and safety hazards.
The third factor that can be very valuable is a familiarization walk through of the venue. This will also highlight such things as potential health and safety dangers. And, remember many contractors will be able suggest alternative plans since it is very likely that they have worked at this venue before and have found safer, better and more efficient methods.
None of this costs anything, and in fact may even save money by empowering contractors to be more efficient. Neither is it anything we don’t already know. Unfortunately, it is just something that slips by the wayside when we are pressurised and deadlines are looming. But for efficiency, better health and safety, and greater cost-effectiveness, I believe that it is time our industry took a step back and seriously looked at how it manages its on-site teams.