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17 - 20 September 2022, The NEC, Birmingham, UK

Health & Safety Information

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Introduction

To view the safety site rules for this event, please click here
To view the venue’s emergency procedures, please click here

Not everyone has extensive experience with regards to the legal and practical aspects of health and safety management. This section is therefore designed to give you sufficient guidance to discharge your responsibilities when designing, building and operating your stand at the show. Guidance, however, can only go so far and therefore, please be aware that you have a legal duty to ensure that your operations do not compromise health and safety. Failing to do so can lead to prosecution and other legal sanctions. We also request that you do not leave health and safety issues to the last minute. 

Please also refer to the COVID-19 section of this manual which covers some pointers you may wish to consider when designing, building and operating your stand.

Policy Statement:

Future Publishing Ltd is committed to providing, maintaining and promoting the highest standards of health and safety at all our events and all exhibitors and contractors are expected to ensure that they too provide a safe place and system of work, as is their legal duty under current legislation. The Head of Events is ultimately responsible for health and safety at the show and, with support from the operations team, will:

  • Allocate sufficient resources to meet health and safety objectives
  • Provide adequate control of health and safety risks arising from work activities
  • Consult with venue, exhibitors and contractors on matters affecting health and safety
  • Provide relevant health and safety information to employees and others
  • Ensure all employees are competent to do their tasks 
  • Ensure so far as is reasonable that the contractors we engage for the show are competent

Future Publishing Ltd has carried out a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks associated with this event, details of which can be obtained from the Organiser's Office if required.
 

Health & Safety Declaration

ALL exhibitors are required to complete the Health & Safety Declaration form AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. Access the form here

Understanding Your Responsibilities

As an exhibitor you have a legal duty of care for the safety of anyone who may be affected by your activities on-site. Ultimately, you are responsible for all aspects of safety on your stand or work area during the build-up, the open period and the breakdown. Even when you contract out your stand build to your appointed contractor, you are still vicariously responsible for the activities of your contractors.  Therefore please consider:

  • You should ensure that all your stand staff and subcontractors have received sufficient Health & Safety training.
  • You should ensure that all personnel contracted by you are aware that they have a responsibility, so far as is reasonably practicable, for the health, safety and welfare of everyone on-site.
  • You should ensure that all plant and systems of work that are being used are, so far as is reasonably practicable, safe and without risk to health.
  • You should provide all your stand staff and contractors with correct PPE to enable them to carry out their work safely.

Please also note the documentation that will be required to complete for this event:

  1. You are required to complete the Health & Safety Declaration found in the Order Forms and Tasks section of this manual.
  2. For any high risk activities taking place on your stand identified in your declaration, you are required to carry out a specific risk assessment covering those activities.
  3. Space only exhibitors need to ensure that their stand contractor completes a Risk Assessment and Method Statement covering the build of the stand.
  4. As it's still a government requirement to carry out COVID-19 risk assessments, you will need to complete the COVID-19 Risk Assessment Form in the Order Forms & Tasks section of the manual  - please refer to the COVID-19 section of the manual for further guidance.

Further Advice:  Risk Assessment

Exhibition halls are ever changing environments and everyone working in or passing through the halls is at risk to some extent. The safest way to deal with the risks is to avoid them altogether where possible, or to put in control measures to minimise the risks. This consideration of risk and controls underpins event health and safety and is why you are required to carry out a risk assessment covering your stand build (space only exhibitors) and any open period activities which carry any form of risk (all exhibitors). Please ensure you have a copy of your assessments with you on-site, together with a copy of the risk assessment carried out by your contractor if you are a space only exhibitor.  Guidelines for carrying out a risk assessment can be downloaded below and please also consider the on-site risks highlighted later in this section that may apply.

Download the Risk Assessment Template

Download the Risk Assessment Guidelines

 

Further Advice:  Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM):

(Will not apply to shell scheme stands unless you are carrying out construction work within the framework of your shell scheme)

CDM are the main set of regulations for managing the health, safety and welfare of construction projects, including exhibitions, and they outline roles, responsibilities, policies and procedures which need to be implemented.  The key principles of CDM 2015 manage risks associated with stand construction and breakdown. Principles are:

  • Eliminate or control risks so far as reasonably practicable
  • Ensure work is effectively planned
  • Appoint the right people and organisations at the right time
  • Make sure everyone has the information, instruction, training and supervision they need to carry out their jobs safely & without damaging health
  • Have systems in place to help parties co-operate and communicate with each other and co-ordinate their work
  • Consult workers with a view to securing effective health, safety and welfare measures

As space only stands are classified as CDM "mini sites" you should therefore manage your health & safety responsibilities under the CDM framework and appoint a competent person to be responsible for your health & safety at the event.  They should ensure that:

  1. Your health & safety paperwork is completed (as outlined above).
  2. Your stand contractor completes a risk assessment, method statement and construction phase plan.
  3. Circulate the event Site Rules to everyone working on your stand during the construction phases and ensures everyone is inducted with them before going to site
  4. Circulate the venue’s Emergency Procedures to everyone working on your stand – build-up, open period and breakdown

Download “Construction Phase Plan” Template and Guidelines
Download Risk Assessment Guidelines
Download Risk Assessment Template
Download Method Statement Guidelines
Download Method Statement Template

 

On-site Safety Considerations

Exhibitors and stand contactors are requested to consider the health and safety rules below which are particularly relevant. This list is by no means exhaustive and a responsible attitude must be taken on all matters of health and safety whilst on-site. Everyone must also comply with any reasonable instruction given to them by Future Publishing’s appointed health and safety team.

Accidents:

  • Report any accidents or near misses to the Organisers Operations team immediately.

Alcohol and drugs:

  • The abuse of alcohol, drugs and substances can affect work performance and safety. Any person found to be under the influence of alcohol, drugs or other substances which constitute a danger to themselves or others will be removed from the venue by Security.

Children:

  • Children under 16 are not permitted into the halls at any time during build-up or breakdown.

Compressed gases (e.g. LPG):

  • The use of compressed gases is not usually permitted and will only be allowed where essential and by exceptional special agreement.  In such cases, a certificate of installation by a Gas Safety registered fitter is required for LPG installations and only one cylinder may be kept in the hall at any one time.

Construction and display materials:

  • All construction and display materials must conform to the standards set out in section 4 of the Stand Construction Regulations.

Dust and fibres:

  • Any construction process likely to generate dust and fibres must be controlled under COSHH and processes involving high levels of dust will not be permitted to take place inside the venue.

Electrical safety:

  • All electrical work within the Halls will be carried in accordance with current legislation. Space only exhibitors and their contractors should ensure they have read the information given in the Space Only section of this manual.  
  • Treat all cables as if they are live and avoid trailing cables around your stand during construction.

Fire and Emergency procedures:

  • You have a duty to circulate the venue’s fire and emergency procedures to all your appointed contractors and stand personnel.  Download Emergency Procedures.

Fire safety:

  • Fire extinguishers will be distributed around the exhibition halls by the Fire Officer for the duration of the show and they must not be removed. Exhibitors should ensure that all their stand contractors and staff are aware of how to use these extinguishers and of the location of the fire exits and alarm points within the halls. If an increased fire risk is presented by a specific activity, exhibitors must provide additional appropriate extinguishers and their activities will be monitored by the venue’s fire safety staff, possibly at additional cost.

In all cases, the following precautions must be taken:

  • Equipment provided for the sole purpose of first response firefighting must not be abused, misused, relocated or concealed.
  • The operational effectiveness of sprinkler installations must not be interfered with.
  • Fire alarm call points must not be operated without due cause.
  • Fire doors must not be obstructed, nor their effectiveness otherwise reduced.
  • Fire hydrants must NOT be used as a source of water, except for fighting fires.

Flammable liquids / chemicals:

  • Flammable liquids and substances must be used and stored safely and segregation from waste and other risk areas. Chemicals and flammable liquids must be removed from the exhibition venue after use by the user or, in exceptional circumstances, brought to the attention of the venue cleaning department for safe and proper disposal. Such products must not be placed in general rubbish bins or skips.

Fumes:

  • Any process that generates noxious or toxic fumes, exhausts or smoke must have an effective ventilation system to the outside atmosphere and be situated adjacent to an external wall of the hall.

Gangways:

  • During build-up and breakdown emergency gangways must be kept clear at all times.
  • Under no circumstances will exhibits, stand dressings, furniture etc. be allowed to encroach into gangways and all stand activities such as selling, handing out leaflets etc. must be carried out from your stand area only. Exhibitors are not permitted to distribute any items within gangways, features, restaurants, seating areas or entrances without the express permission of the Organisers (permission is normally only given to the area’s sponsors or partners).

Hanging wires:

  • Hanging wires are not to be left hanging below head height and must be marked with tape.

Hazardous substances:

  • The control of substances hazardous to health regulations 2002 (COSHH) is intended to remove the problem of ill health caused by the exposure to hazardous substances at work. The definition of a substance that is hazardous to health is any substance that legally has to be labelled as “very toxic”, “toxic”, “harmful”, “irritant” or “corrosive”. If you, or your contractors, intend to use such substances you must carry out a written risk assessment, under the COSHH regulations and send a copy to andreahurst@fluid-events.co.uk by 15 July 2021.

Hot work:

  • You must not undertake any welding, cutting or grinding that uses open flame or produces heat and sparks without getting a Hot Work Permit from the venue. Hot work activity will require a risk assessment and method statement prior to any permit being issued.

Items of Special Risk:

The Organisers are required to submit details to the venue and local authority of any exhibitor proposing to have items of special risk on their stand. Please therefore identify any such items or activities on both the Health & Safety Form (complete online here) and on your stand plans if you are a space only exhibitor. You must ensure you cover these suitably in your Risk Assessment and actively carry out control measures onsite.

Items of special risk that must be declared to the Organisers include:

  • Stepped access, ramps and balustrades
  • Non-structural items exceeding 4m in height e.g. Helium balloons (Blimps) and toy balloons, flagpoles
  • Any dangerous and obnoxious substance
  • Hot surfaces and naked flames
  • Flammable oils, liquids and gases
  • Compressed gases / Acetylene / LPG
  • Working machinery and apparatus
  • Fumes, exhausts and smoke
  • Motor vehicles in the hall
  • Livestock including animals, birds, reptiles, insects and fish etc
  • Audio visual displays and films
  • Fairground and other amusements
  • Activities on water
  • Water and water equipment
  • Radioactive substances
  • Dangerous exhibits e.g. weapons, knives, tools etc
  • Requirements where provision is made for a closely seated audience of less than 200 people
  • Food Safety Advice required - food and alcohol sampling and / or preparation
  • Crowd Management Safety – e.g. public participation activities
  • Skin piercing incl. acupuncture, tattooing, electrolysis, cosmetic piercing, micro pigmentation etc

Ladders:

  • Ensure that all access equipment you use is of sound construction and adequate strength. Fix ladders either at the top or bottom, at a 1:4 angle. The ladder should safely reach 1.5m past the point on which it leans. Trestle type supports are not to be used as ladders under any circumstances. Domestic ladders are not suitable.

Legionella:

  • Exhibitors using features or exhibits that contain water such as fountains, ponds, jacuzzis, spa baths etc. must follow precautions to prevent any possibility of Legionella. The temperature inside the venue will be conducive to assisting Legionella to multiply at a rapid rate in stagnant water. You must provide a risk assessment and method statement with regard to how water treatment / chlorination / water change of the feature will be carried out. All water features and equipment MUST be managed by qualified and competent staff. Spa baths must have the filters checked and the sand filter back-washed daily. The water treatment process must be checked and pools continuously treated with oxidising biocide. Records must be kept up to date. Fountains and water features must be cleaned regularly and ponds, spray heads and make-up tanks including all wetted surfaces must be disinfected and de-scaled where necessary. Records must be kept up to date.

Lifting machinery:

  • Fork and stacker trucks, jacks, hoists, cranes and lifts, etc, are not to be used by anyone other than the officially appointed lifting contractor who have fully trained and qualified personnel, in accordance to all relevant rules and regulations. Manual handlers/loaders must be trained in their specific roles and wear the appropriate PPE.

Manual handling:

The law requires that, as far as reasonably practicable, you should avoid the need to undertake manual handling operations which involve a risk of injury and appropriate steps are taken following a risk assessment to reduce any chance of injury to the lowest level reasonably practicable.

  • Think before lifting
  • Stand as near to the object as possible
  • Bend your knees and keep back straight
  • Grasp the load firmly
  • Lift with your legs
  • Hold the load closely to the centre of your body

Moving vehicles:

  • All reversing vehicles must be guided by a banksman. Engines are not to be left on idle in the halls. Where this is unavoidable (e.g. cranes), the lifting supervisor is responsible for ensuring that combustion fumes do not build up in the halls.

Noise:

  • The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 require you assess the risks to your employees from noise at work, take action to reduce the noise exposure that produces the risk, provide your employees (and those in the immediate area) with hearing protection if you cannot reduce the noise exposure and ensure that the legal limits on noise exposure are not exceeded.

Painting and decorating:

  • When using spraying equipment or pressure vessels, care must be taken over possible risks from fumes and barrier creams and masks must be provided. The use of lead-based paints and primers is not permitted. All waste products must be disposed of properly.

Portable power equipment:

  • Portable power equipment should be used for the purpose for which it was designed and have correctly fitted and used safety guards
  • It shall be visibly marked as inspected and tested within the previous 12 months.
  • Portable electric tools are to be used with the minimum length of trailing leads and such equipment should not left unattended with a live power supply to it.
  • Protective Clothing (PPE)
  • All stand contractors and staff must wear suitable protective clothing relevant to their job, which includes eye, ear, foot and hand protection. During build-up and breakdown, all personnel must wear hard hats when working beneath or near overhead working and in the loading bays when out of their vehicles.  Everyone entering the hall during the "construction phase" must wear suitable shoes - thick soles, enclosed toes and no heels

Site Rules:

  • Every exhibitor is required to ensure that anyone working on their stand during the construction phase has been inducted with the Site Rules.

Smoking:

  • Smoking is not permitted in the halls in accordance with UK law.

Vehicles and pedestrian routes:

  • It is difficult to completely separate vehicle and pedestrian routes during an event build-up and breakdown. Be clear with any staff that you are bringing on site that care should be taken at all times. If your teams are operating in loading areas they should be aware of the movement of traffic and should wear hi-visibility clothing as a minimum. Where you are able to drive a vehicle within the event perimeter your driver should be made aware that pedestrians have right of way AT ALL TIMES and there will be speed restrictions in place.

Waste disposal:

  • You are responsible for the disposal of waste generated by your own activities. Do not block aisles with your rubbish or equipment - an ambulance or stretcher unit may require urgent access. The work area must be kept free from general waste materials, which should be disposed of in the proper manner. You should ensure disused fluorescent lighting tubes are disposed of safely - not in the normal bins or skips. Never leave rubbish or packing materials on or behind your stand. Chemicals and flammable liquids must first be notified to the Organisers that they will be brought on to site, then afterwards safely removed by the user. To comply with the Environmental Protection Act 1990, under no circumstances must large waste material be abandoned onsite, or deposited in the venues skips. Any cost for the removal of materials or waste left onsite after the show by an exhibitor or contractor will be charged to the exhibiting company.

Welfare arrangements:

  • The majority of requirements required through CDM are already in place at the NEC and information on access to toilets, seating, drinking water and retail food outlets is detailed in the Organisers site rules and should be included in each stand’s own Site Rules and Information. Each “Principal Contractor” also needs to ensure that the welfare of their team is planned for, including working hours, equipment required and PPE required.

Work equipment:

  • All equipment provided for work within the venue must be suitable and appropriate for the tasks required and comply with current legislation. The use of “domestic” quality equipment is not acceptable.
  • Woodworking machinery, tile cutters etc. shall be used with due consideration for the effect on others nearby (noise and dust) and may be required to be used outside the venue.

Working at height:

  • All reasonable steps should be taken to eliminate or minimise the risks associated with working at height.  A person is working “at height” if there is a possibility of their being injured from falling.
  • Where work at height is necessary, a risk assessment must be carried out to identify the appropriate means of access and all work at height must be properly planned, organised and supervised.
  • Working at height should not be carried out if it is reasonably practicable to do the work in any other way.
  • Equipment used for working at height must be suitable for the task, eg: a) domestic steps and ladders are NOT permitted – only industrial steps and ladders are permitted; b) mobile tower scaffold shall be constructed and used as identified by the manufacturer; c) all working platforms shall be protected by guardrails when at a height assessed to present a hazard; d) guard rails, toe boards, barriers, etc, must be of sufficient size and strength and placed and secured correctly; e) working platforms and the supporting structure must be stable and capable of supporting the loads; f) wheeled structures must have wheel locks or other measures to prevent slippage. They must be safely erected, used and dismantled and g) nets, air bags and other collective safeguards must be risk assessed to demonstrate that no other, safer work equipment is available and that appropriate training has been provided. All equipment must also be appropriately inspected.
  • The exhibition industry has also launched the "Stop the Drop" campaign with the aim of ensuring that all stakeholders involved in events are aware of the dangers of working at height.  Please visit www.stop-thedrop.co.uk for more information.

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