PROFESSIONAL CREW EQUALS SAFE CREW
Clients’ expectations within the industry of suppliers and their health and safety standards are steadily rising. Here Heath Freeman, managing director of leading crewing company Pinnacle Crew, outlines how he believes crews can operate more professionally and safely to go that extra mile and really make a difference to a client.
There are a number of client expectations that any professional crewing company should meet. These range from providing prompt quotes, being able to deal with last minute orders and amendments effectively, to offering a 24-hour service and additional crew to cover unforeseen problems, and having enough vehicles to move crew around the country within tight deadlines.
Just as importantly, it is to be expected that any crewing company worth its salt should be offering a dedication to on-going recognised health and safety training, with crew trained in the right competencies and equipped with the necessary tools, prepared to tackle – within health and safety boundaries – whatever needs to be done to allow the job to run smoothly.
In addition, health and safety is further assured by team leaders who are professional and trained in how to lead an effective crew.
These are all obvious offerings for a crewing company, but I believe there are a few less obvious factors that crewing companies should master to become truly professional.
Crew must have to have a willingness to learn; and understand what clients expect of them. They also need to be aware of the health and safety factors that apply to a wide variety of equipment, and of the possible hazards. This can be achieved by working with clients to provide training in other aspects of the industry, giving an insight into the various disciplines – such as staging, lighting, AV, power – that are encountered on site. In this way clients are able to rely on crew to do so much more than merely carry heavy kit – and do it in a safe and effective way.
Beyond this initial type of training, I firmly believe in a system of on-site mentoring for all new crew. New members should always work alongside an experienced senior crew member for at least two months until they gain enough experience to assess and recognise hazards.
It should also be remembered that experienced crew are a resource, and, if used correctly, a very valuable resource.
Crews work on hundreds of jobs in a year. This means that they have a unique insight into health and safety and operations on-site as they have seen numerous and perhaps similar jobs executed in a variety of ways. In addition, crew come from many different backgrounds. We have plumbers, electricians, chippies, firemen and engineers working for us. They have a wealth of knowledge about efficient and safe methods of working that may be useful at no additional cost.
Regular client contact and feedback is also important in evaluating whether crew are operating efficiently and safely. In this way, the service that is truly required is delivered and any issues resolved at an early stage.
Taken together, the result of proper training and client feedback is consistency of crew quality, safe crewing, and client confidence that even when things go wrong the crewing company will come up trumps every time.
A version of this article appeared in the September issue of The Main Event www.themaineventmagazine.co.uk