Returning from the 2019 Event Safety Alliance Summit in Lititz, PA our team has refocused our efforts on maintaining the reputation for safety that Complete Crewing has been known for in the Chicago production and events market. John Doyle, one of the industry pioneers in Chicago event staging has come back focused on polishing our internal SEE program (Safety in Events and Entertainment). Eric “Sluggo” Eaton came back to the office on a mission to find any PPE or First Aid Kits that were expired.
With the end of the year upon us, I suggest this is a good time to verify all of your safety gear is checked. Don’t forget that most rigging harnesses are only good for 5 years and need to be checked for wear or damage at every use. We not only do a check on these pieces before each use, but they also get another thorough inspection at our office every 6 months. Also, remember your First Aid Kits have a shelf life of 3-5 years but should be checked regularly to ensure all contents are up to date and replenished. Replace anything that looks like it has been wet or damaged in any way. Consider any bottle of partially used ointment as contaminated and throw it away. Even Hard Hats have a shelf life. If your hat is 10 years old and brittle, replace it, no matter how comfortable it is or how cool the stickers are!
Another take away from the Event Safety Conference is the fact that no matter where you are, you should have an escape plan. Sometimes a plan is taken for granted when you or your audio visual labor and production crews have worked in a facility many times, but it is always a good idea to brief the team on the location of the fire extinguishers and emergency exits.
With all the safety plans in place, checklists complete, and equipment inspected, the most important part of the topic of safety is not putting yourself in a dangerous situation in the first place. Having situational awareness and being at the top of your game by getting quality sleep, properly fueling and hydrating your body, and keeping a positive attitude will keep you focused and ready to respond to changing conditions.