Friday, 10 February 2017

Following the recent terrorist outrages to what extent are our staff at risk when travelling?

The security issues faced by global event companies have never been as serious or complex.  Global jihad appears to be able to attack public spaces, hotels, airports and planes with impunity and whilst the statistical risk to any individual may be little changed, event companies, especially those with international interests, have a clear responsibility to staff and key stakeholders to assess and mitigate the threat this poses.  With regard to venues at risk a very clear pattern of terrorist targets emerges as follows:

·         Places visited by foreigners (British nationals and British interests in particular)

·         Airport check in areas

·         Railway stations and trains

·         Open air markets and shopping malls

·         Hotels

·         Beach resorts

·         Bars, nightclubs and restaurants

·         Places of Christian worship

Exhibition, convention and conference centres and other such venues do not themselves feature though this cannot be ruled out.   This may be because all of the above can be targeted and attacked without having to buy a ticket or pass through any kind of controlled entrance (except perhaps for some hotels and shopping malls).   To some extent therefore, the risk can be greatly reduced by simple avoidance and restricting movement to these places for business or leisure.  Risks of passing through airports are probably no greater than any other public place but can be mitigated, for example, by booking in on line and travelling with hand luggage only to reduce the time spent in the public areas before passing through security.  Corporately companies need to think more holistically about all of the travel arrangements including the selection of approved airlines and hotels.  Staff need to be briefed on the threat and personal avoidance measures as well as the ‘Stay Safe’ attack drills promoted by the UK National Counter Terrorism Security Office.

In collaboration with the International SOS Foundation, IOSH has published a new guide, Managing the safety, health and security of mobile workers.  It covers a wide range of personal health, safety and security issues when travelling can be downloaded at . 

CDM – What difference does it actually make?

Most event companies appear to have got to grips with the new legislation.  Our view has always been that the intricacies of CDM matter far less than the fact that it gives the HSE a direct mandate to regulate and enforce criminal law in event construction and so it has come to pass.  Thus far, they have taken a light touch approach but that may be about to change.  The HSE have been making pre-announced inspections of the build-up and break down of events.  Whilst they have taken no official enforcement action, it is very clear that they view certain common practices and certainly work at height as being unacceptable.  After one visit the HSE inspector cited 70% of what he saw as being ‘actionable misuse’.  At the moment, we appear to be in a phase of dialogue between the HSE and the events and exhibitions industry whilst they formulate an approach.  We may be given some time to bring about improvements but it is probably only a matter of time before they take legal action against poor practice that they regard as actionable.  Work at height will definitely be a key issue for 2017 and a separate discussion paper is attached.

It is not clear at this stage whether the HSE will take action against offending contractors, exhibitors or the Client in the form of the organiser.  Organisers should take note, however, there is a limit to the extent to which the HSE will tolerate endemic health and safety violations by contractors and exhibitors before they take issue with, the organiser.  CDM places clear responsibility for overall site management on the organiser and senior management within the organiser’s structure.  Heavy punitive action against event organisers will hurt everyone’s business including venues.

New sentencing guidelines applicable from 2016

Five event companies have been prosecuted and fined in the previous year one of the most high profile of which was the £1.6 million fine meted out to Foodles Production when Harrison Ford broke his leg on the Star Wars set.  The new guidelines* apply to health and safety offences committed by individuals or companies including corporate manslaughter.  The devil is in the detail, they can be downloaded at and should be required reading for company secretaries, health and safety managers and directors.  In all cases fines are potentially unlimited but prison sentences are limited to 2 years (although there is a potential whole life tariff for manslaughter by gross negligence).

The new guidelines set out tables for calculating the sentence based on company turnover (or individual’s ability to pay), actual or potential for harm including how many people were or could have been affected and the degree of culpability.  This produces a ‘start point’ within a suggested range.  The fine can then be mitigated by cooperation with the authorities and/or an early guilty plea.  This is perfectly sensible and reasonable in concept but there are some very clear issues for the events and venues business.

A ‘large’ company is deemed to be one with a turnover of more than £50 million for whom the starting point for a medium harm and medium culpability incident is £600,000 but ranges up to £10 million for the most serious (non-fatal) incident.  Where it involves a charge of corporate manslaughter the start point for a low culpability incident is £500,000 ranging up to £20 million for the most serious offence.  The start points are scaled down for smaller companies but the point is that the fines for larger companies are many multiples of what they would have been before.

The next issue is the potential for harm and the potential numbers of people involved i.e. there does not have to have been an incident or any injury.  Here the events industry is very vulnerable.  The HSE has already stated that it regards the whole industry as ‘high risk’ and has issues with crowded construction areas.  A moving forklift quite clearly has a very high potential for harm.  A worker standing on a live edge at 3 metres could fall and be killed or suffer life changing injuries.  Fire hazards would be classed as potentially very harmful to many workers or occupants.  In essence, most of the industry’s activities are likely to be in the highest harm category.  For example, if a worker were injured by a moving forklift and the offending company had a turnover of more than £50 million, assuming a ‘medium’ level of culpability (which means a lapse in what was otherwise a good set up) the start point for the fine would be £1.3 million but could be up to £3.25 million.

We have got to the point where in business terms the type of financial loss that would be associated with the total loss of an event or the loss of a venue for an extended period could now result from a lapse in an otherwise sound health and safety management system.

* Health and Safety Offences, Corporate Manslaughter and Food Safety and Hygiene Offences Definitive Guideline

Never have we faced a more complicated range of risks than those we face in 2017

We have got to the point where in business terms the type of financial loss that would be associated with the total loss of an event or the loss of a venue for an extended period could now result from a lapse in an otherwise sound health and safety management system.

Five event companies have been prosecuted in 2016 none of which involved CDM regulations but all of which resulted in record breaking fines ten times higher than they would have been this time last year.  Company directors should note that it is possible to be fined over half a million pounds or more for a relatively low fault incident even if it did not involve an injury.  At the upper end, in September 2016, a warehouse operator was fined £2.2 million after a worker was killed falling 2.5m from the unguarded edge of a loading bay in circumstances which are replicated at event builds every day.  Where CDM does make a difference is that previously health and safety in event construction would be dealt with by the local authority who would take a pragmatic approach whereas now it falls to the HSE who are on record as stating that they regard event construction practices as poor and a problem that needs fixing.  Added to this is a very specific and far reaching terrorist threat to the public places which are vital to our industry both in the UK and overseas.  Event companies need to recognise the pressure this places on operations team who have to deal with these realities on a day to day basis.  The next series of blogs will look at these in more detail.

Thursday, 7 July 2016

What does Brexit mean for health and safety law in the events industry?

‘it seems unlikely that any politician in future will fundamentally downgrade our health and safety laws or the manner in which they are enforced’.


If you were a ‘Brexitier’ hoping for a wholesale repeal of health and safety legislation, then the simple answer is that it is not going to happen; even if it did we would have to wait for 2 years under Article 50.  If you were a ‘Remainer’ fearing that that Brexit would lead to a return to Dickensian working conditions, that is also not going to happen.  Despite the hyperbole on both sides of the argument neither were ever a likely scenario.  In fact, all the current indicators are that regulation of event construction is likely to get tougher.


The UK was ahead of European countries when it introduced the Health and Safety at Work Act (HASAWA) in 1974 which is still the basis of our law and most prosecutions.  The existence of the HSE and the legal basis for enforcement is all part of HASAWA outside of EU diktat.  However, as one famous Eurosceptic once put it ’the devil will be in the detail’.


Those that paid attention during their IOSH or NEBOSH training may know that there are two types of EU law; that which applies directly under the European Communities Act (ECA), such as much of the chemicals regulations and that which needs to be enacted by the UK into subsidiary regulations such as the machinery and lifting regulations.  Legal opinion is that repealing the former would be unlikely owing the legal and commercial chaos that would ensue.  The UK has more leeway with subsidiary regulations which can be amended.  However, the situation is more complicated than it first seems since the centre piece of the subsidiary framework is the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (originally 1992) which was made under both HASAWA and ECA.  This, somewhat over simplified explanation adds up to the fact that extracting ourselves from the morass of EU health and safety legislation would take a very long time if it happens at all.


In 2011 this government commissioned the Löfstedt review into health and safety legislation which concluded that it was broadly fit for purpose.  It does not seem likely, therefore, that any future government, however Eurosceptic, would waste time and resources on repealing current EU based health and safety legislation and even if it did the fundamental duties of employers in criminal law would still exist under HASAWA.  When all is said and done we will still need to trade with the EU and to do that business we will still have to comply with EU legislation to a large extent. 


A Brexit does, however, mean that new EU Directives will not be incorporated into UK law and we will be able to amend existing EU based law if it does not compromise any trade agreements.  First on the list could be the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM) and its unnecessary application to the events industry which the HSE imposed citing an EU ruling as its rationale.  Be warned, however, that even if this decision were reversed the HSE would still be the enforcing authority for event construction, a change which preceded CDM 15.


It is not clear whether new EU directives will be brought into UK law whilst the UK remains in the EU pending exit.  It seems unlikely however, that any UK government would rush to enact new EU based health and safety legislation whether or not it was technically obliged to do so.


The remain campaign raised the spectre of a government with ‘unconstrained freedom of action in relation to those areas currently governed by EU social law’ resulting in exploitative working conditions.  This was of course hyperbole but it does mean that some of the legislation regarding working hours could be amended or repealed.


It might be more instructive to focus less on the law itself than how it is applied.  If recent experience is anything to go by, the HSE have found a problem that they believe needs to be fixed in event construction and notwithstanding CDM, HASAWA gives them all they need to pursue that.  The HSE has recently visited a number of events and have made it clear that they intend to drive improvement with increased unannounced visits, enforcement action and prosecution where they feel it is warranted.  None of this would be affected by a Brexit or otherwise.


As recent updates have shown, sentencing guidelines for UK courts changed last year, considerably increasing the penalty tariff and they have not been slow to act imposing four £ million-plus fines for serious accidents in January this year alone.  This had nothing to do with the EU.


Much of our environmental law comes from Europe and it is probably fair to say that given the current financial uncertainties many companies may row back on the expense of sustainability programs, especially as those companies that have them tend to have large operations outside the EU where the concepts of sustainability are not so well established.


Ultimately the law both reflects and drives social attitudes.  The 1974 Act ushered in an era of change where unnecessary dangerous practices in the workplace became unacceptable to a point where workplace safety is accepted as the desirable norm.  Society’s attitudes ultimately transcend law and just as there is never likely to be a demand for a return to smoking in public places or driving cars without seatbelts, it seems unlikely that any politician in future will fundamentally downgrade our health and safety laws or the manner in which they are enforced.


Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Post for EventHuddle - the Threat to Events from global jihad

……we have grown used to looking out for unattended packages which almost always turn out to be just that but now we need to be on the lookout for assault teams of marauding gunmen who do not take prisoners.

Amongst the mayhem in Paris on Friday 13th of November the armed assault on the Bataclan Theatre and the murder of 89 occupants brings home the reality of just how vulnerable public events are to attacks of this nature.  In the UK, shielded by our borders, we have been more fortunate but the frequency and ferocity of these attacks means that we need to examine the nature of this threat to our events both at home and overseas.

The post-cold war conflicts in the Balkans, Chechnya, Middle East, Afghanistan and to a certain extent sub Saharan Africa created a supply of redundant arms, explosives and skilled insurgent fighters.  Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and other jihadist groups gave some of those fighters a new focus and put their fighting skills, weapons and explosives to use.  ISIL’s subsequent rapid taking of territory in Iraq and Syria have also gained them unparalleled resources in terms of money and military hardware.  The effect in a borderless Europe was plain to see in the attacks in Paris.  This of course is a gross over simplification to a highly complex global problem and the cause of and the long term solution to this problem is for historians and politicians respectively.  The global events and exhibitions business meanwhile needs to deal with the current reality.

Threat is a combination of intent to harm and capability to do so.  Terrorist outrages are not new and in previous decades we have had the Red Brigade, Baader-Meinhof, the IRA and others who bombed public places and fought gun battles on our city streets.  They were however constrained by relatively narrow political aims and limits to their appetite for killing and destruction.  Even the IRA never bombed a tube train, although they were certainly capable of doing so, and focused on their efforts in fighting the security forces that ultimately defeated them.  The jihadists’ intent in pursuance of establishing a caliphate fuels an unrestrained appetite for slaughter and destruction aimed at soft targets, mostly public gatherings which is why the events industry is now so vulnerable.  Even if the aligned powers take a ground force war to them, it will take some time to defeat them so it is reasonable to assume that these attacks will continue.

The capability of ISIL in particular cannot be doubted.  Last autumn they destroyed a Russian passenger jet, bombed a street in Beirut, and carried out six simultaneous assaults on targets in Paris amounting to three attacks of mass murder in three different countries inside a fortnight.  No terrorist group in modern history, including Al-Qaeda, have demonstrated such operational breadth and direct reach in terms of destructive capability or the ability to inspire other terrorist groups to commit similar atrocities such as the recent attacks in Jakarta.  In summary we face a terrorist threat in terms of intent and capability which is more destructive and far reaching than ever before.

We cannot know for sure the extent to which the security services are containing the threat.  In the UK they have certainly defeated many planned attacks assisted by the UK’s far tighter controls on weapons and explosives and the fact that we control our borders.  The capability of insurgent groups is thus mitigated and so far in the last 10 years the threat has been contained, in relative terms at least, to the murder of Drummer Rigby in Woolwich in 2013.

Most European countries have well trained counter insurgency police and troops that can respond quickly to an attack and contain it.  Notwithstanding, since the attackers do not usually fear death or capture they are prepared to mount bold assaults in public places.  The Bataclan Theatre is a case in point.  Even against the famously aggressive and well-trained French anti- terrorist police three ISIL gunmen armed with assault rifles held them off for two hours and forty minutes whilst inside the building, firing into the tightly-packed audience of 1,500.  It begs the question as to how effectively any event venue or organiser can plan or prepare for such an eventuality.

In sub Saharan Africa the threat from groups like Boko Haram in Nigeria and Al Shaabab in Kenya is typified by the latter’s activities killing 67 in Nairobi’s upmarket Westgate shopping mall which Kenyan security forces took four days to control.  In April four members held hostage over 500 students for ten hours at Garissa University.  It took seven hours for a response to be deployed, long after the media had already arrived, and another three hours to mount a rescue by which time 148 students had been killed.  The growing threat in African states is exacerbated by the apparent weakness of their anti-terrorist security forces and their failures in intelligence and response.  It is not certain that a group like Al Shaabab would be capable of attacking an international airport but it is reasonable to assume that they could successfully attack a more lightly defended convention centre or an executive hotel in the style of the attack on the Taj Hotel in Mumbai in 2008 and now in Mali and Jakarta.  Event managers spend a great deal of their time in these places.  In the UK event organisers are used to dealing with the terrorist threat by liaising with the security services and professional venue security managers but they would not get that access in many other countries.  Event companies should ask themselves whether they even fully understand the true nature of the threat in some of the countries in which they operate.

Whilst it is still statistically very unlikely that any given event will be a direct target, there is no avoiding the fact that in Paris ISIL chose to attack two events, a football match and a concert in a capital city.  Any event, therefore, including trade events like exhibitions and conferences, which tend to be held in major cities, can be considered a potential target.  It is far more likely that an event will be caught up in an attack sequence just because it is in tenancy at a venue in the same city or country during an attack.  Beyond the threat to life, the long term consequences for a venue or an event organiser affected directly or indirectly by an attack such as the one on the Bataclan Theatre could be far greater than those traditionally conceived as a ‘major incident’.

At board level and for key investors the essential question is whether the analysis of the threat changes the viability of any event in terms of whether the commercial benefits are worth the risk.  Other key stakeholders such as key exhibitors and insurers could also influence this analysis.   More likely the problem will be passed down to an operational level to review risk assessment, planning processes and security arrangements. 

Traditionally our worst case scenario planning envisages a serious fire or an explosive device causing multiple loss of life.  In either case the drill is to use the fire exits to get away from the hazard with the assumption that the emergency services would be quickly on the scene.  We now face the problem that the drill of making one’s way quickly and calmly to the nearest fire exit may be the very opposite of the best course of action in the face of, for example, marauding gunmen with assault rifles.  The question is how we nuance our emergency drills to take account of the change in threat without over complicating them.

We mostly consider these threats to arise when the event team is established in the venue but what is the response if, as seems more likely, employees are caught up in an attack on their hotel or multiple attacks close by in the city in which they happen to be staying?

In conclusion, in simple terms we have grown used to looking out for unattended packages which almost always turn out to be just that but now we need to be on the lookout for assault teams of marauding gunmen who do not take prisoners or hostages.  It is however important not to lose our sense of perspective or indeed become fixated with the events in Paris since ours is a global business exposed to a range of threats and other risks.  Event companies need to look at their operational footprint and profile and assess their exposure to risk generally.  Most companies already have robust plans and planning processes in place and train staff to deal with a crisis. These arrangements need to be reviewed to ensure they remain fit for purpose.  Perhaps the key issue here is that the scale and the nature of the threat has fundamentally changed.  Even in the worst case scenarios for which we train, the emergency and security services are quickly on hand to take control and yet we have seen that, depending on where you are in the world, that can take hours or even days.  The unpalatable conclusion is that following the events in Paris our worst case scenarios for planning and training just got worse by some measure. 


©X-Venture Ltd 2015

Update January 2016

Looking back on 2015 – has the much promised reduction in regulatory burden had an effect on the events industry?

 The short answer is no.  The 2011 Löfstedt report recommended a range of changes to reduce the health and safety regulatory burden on business.  Few in our industry appreciate that CDM 2015 was one of those changes and it has reduced the burden on the construction industry but it was also newly applied to events as is commented on below and extensively in previous updates.  For events it has had the exact opposite effect of that intended.  In addition, we are facing a considerable increase in potential fines on all businesses and a greater risk of custodial sentences for individuals.  Companies could be fined 100% of their pre-tax profits which could be in excess of £100 million for very large companies.  Anecdotally the introduction of FFI appears to have encouraged the HSE to issue more enforcement notices in the events industry.  The removal of liabilities under HASAWA for the self-employed does not apply to event construction activities and could actually encourage unsafe working which may prove to be a headache especially for less well managed events.  It could be argued that boards of directors of event companies are actually facing a perfect storm of increased liabilities in 2016.
CDM Update

 The HSE guidance for the events industry was due out by the end of 2015 and is likely to be web based.  The HSE have scheduled 40 proactive inspections of events for 2016 which are likely to be the largest most complex events.  There was some enforcement action in 2015 with Prohibition Notices issued to participants for work at height violations and similar.  The HSE have prosecuted a principal contractor working in the construction industry for their failure to provide adequate welfare under CDM 2015.  Whilst generally the provision of welfare facilities is considered one of the less challenging requirements of the CDM Regulations for the events industry, this case serves as a reminder not to overlook it.  The AEO CDM Resource pack is currently being reviewed and updated in line with recent consultation with event industry health and safety professionals.

Received wisdom is that provided we take a sensible and practical approach, the HSE are very unlikely to take enforcement action based on compliance with CDM per se.  They will take (and have taken) enforcement action for obvious breaches of key legislation such as Work at Height Regs.  With the focus on the Client, CDM might increase the focus on senior management of organising companies.  What is less obvious is whether large complex stands will now have to be more directly accountable in law for their actions rather than the organiser which was more or less the default before CDM.  Time will tell. 

Increase in Penalties for Health and Safety Offences could reach £100 million

New tougher sentencing guidelines1 outlined in the previous update, have been challenged in the courts.  Thames Water appealed a £250,000 fine on the grounds that it was too severe but the appeal was rejected.  The ruling stated that sanctions ‘needed to bring home the appropriate message to the directors and shareholders of the company’.  The ruling acknowledged that fines could well equal up to 100% of the company’s pre-taxed net profits for the year even if that amounted to fines in excess of £100 million.  The case follows appeals by Sellafield and Network Rail last year which were also rejected clearly indicating that the judiciary are taking a tougher line with corporate offenders.

Self-Employed Exempt from Health and Safety Law from 1 October 2015

 From 1st October a new law2 means that health and safety law no longer applies to 1.7 million self-employed people in the UK and, potentially, some of those working in the events and exhibitions industry.  This has caused a great deal of concern in the health and safety industry generally and some confusion with regard to self-employed service suppliers at events including self-employed workers sub contracted to larger companies.

 There is a caveat that the new provision does not apply to those working in a situation which gives rise to duties under CDM which means any event construction activity.  In any case professional event organisers and venues require all service suppliers, self-employed or otherwise, to comply with the rules of the site as a condition of entry.  Whilst the new provision does mean that, for example, a self-employed contractor working from home no longer has to comply with health and safety law in that environment, for all practical purposes this new law does not alter the status of self-employed staff and contractors when working on site at events.
ISO 45001 to Replace BS OHSAS 18001

ISO 45001 is due to replace BS OHSAS 18001 with a planned publication date of October 2016.  Companies reviewing their professional accreditations should follow the progress of this new health and safety standard.  X-Venture will advise clients on any policy amendments necessary to reflect best practice and IOSH courses will reflect the new standard when it is published.

 £500 million loss following Alton Towers accident

Investors like certainty.  When they perceive risk they pull out and so it has transpired following the tragic events in Alton Towers in June when a rollercoaster crashed causing 16 causalities including two who suffered amputations.  Alton Towers could lose as much as £47 million in 2015 and as a result the share price of its parent company Merlin Entertainments has lost £500 million in shareholder value.  These losses are before the inevitable law suits for compensation and possible prosecution by the HSE.  Some might argue that no sanction can make up for a life changing injury but this case serves to illustrate that in the events and entertainments industry financial and reputational losses following an accident can be out of all proportion to the actual offence comparable with other industries.  This is due to a combination of higher profile and higher public expectations of the exercise of duty of care to visitors to any venue.

Guidance for Drones at Events

The HSE and the Civil Aviation Authority have accepted new guidance for the use of drones at events to be included in the NAA A-Guide and considered for the AEV eGuide.  A drone is a Small Unmanned Aircraft with an operating mass of 20 Kg or less.  Over 20 Kg they are subject to the same regulation as manned aircraft and an exemption needs to be sought from the Civil Aviation Authority.  This applies to drones flown externally and the eGuide committee is now considering the wording regarding their use inside venues.

New Welfare Guide Published

The Events Industry Forum (EIF) has announced the publication of a new guide to Welfare at Events, which will be published on the Purple Guide website .  This largely applies to outdoor entertainment events.

Lasers in Exhibitions and Entertainment

The Revision of The Radiation Safety of Lasers Used for Display Purposes HS(G)95 has now been completed and the draft guidance document public consultation phase closed on 11th December 2015.  The new document, now simply titledSafety of Display Lasershas been produced by PLASA in association with the HSE and others. 
Pyrotechnics and Other (non-laser) Special Effects

The changes in European and UN legislation on the governance and management of explosives has led to a significant amount of delay in completing the The  Association of British Theatre Technicians (ABTT) Code of Practice for Pyrotechnics, consequently the development of appropriate training has been affected too.  There is a project running to create a safety rules document that will identify the core of the information required to support the safe installation and use of pyrotechnics in venues which will be produced by the ABTT.

Fibrous and Plaster Ceilings

Following the Apollo Theatre ceiling collapse3, The ABTT has developed a scheme for induction, inspection (both structural and hands on by the plaster specialist) and reporting.  All theatres with fibrous and ornate plaster ceilings are due to have been inspected fully under the new guidance by August of 2016.  

Changes to Chemical Labelling

From June 2015 the law regarding the packaging and labelling of hazardous chemical substances changed which brings Europe in line with UN globally harmonised systems.  Suppliers are to allowed exhaust existing stocks until 2017 although many have anticipated the change already.  The new system, which also affects safety data sheets, retains many of the pictograms of the old black and orange labels, and now uses a red diamond with black pictograms on a white background.  The events industry routinely involves the handling of potentially hazardous substances from cleaning products and glues to pyrotechnics and other special effects.  Full details of the new pictograms can be found in the European Commission guide ‘Chemicals at Work’ available at
Company director jailed for manslaughter

 The boss of a fruit farm has been jailed for two and half years for the death of two workers who suffocated trying to retrieve apples from a nitrogen filled container.  The company was fined £75,000.  Whilst the context has little to do with an event environment the case illustrates the increasing propensity of courts to hand out jail terms to directors whose negligence leads to death or serious injury.

Prosecution Following the Death of a Trainee Electrician.

Grundfos Pumps has been prosecuted and fined £415,000 including costs following the death of a trainee electrician.  The 19-year-old trainee was killed during the electrical testing of a control panel.  The company did not have a risk assessment or safe system of work for the procedure and the victim was not properly supervised.

In the events industry the electrical risks are magnified by the requirement for temporary installations including 3 phase supply, time pressures and multiple contractual arrangements.  The risk is managed by strict adherence to agreed guidance such as the e-Guide.  Notwithstanding this incident illustrates the need for constant vigilance to ensure that standards are maintained.

Grundfos only avoided more serious sanctions with an early guilty plea which is not much of a strategy for risk management.

£45,000 fine for a Blocked Fire Exit
A south Wales recycling firm has just been fined £45,000 for blocked fire exits and other fire safety breaches at their depot (£5,000 for each breach) plus £3,207 costs.  Fire authorities are increasingly making proactive visits to inspect premises which includes event venues within their area.  If the standards fall below an acceptable level when the fire authorities visit they can be expected to use their powers to prosecute.  Under CDM the main duty holder for a tenanted area would be the organiser.

£90,000 fine for Legionella Death

A hospital has just been penalised £90,000 in fines and costs for failing to control Legionella risk in the water systems which led to a death of a patient.  The risk from Legionella bacteria in a building’s water systems is a very serious potential risk particularly in a public building such as an exhibition centre.  The hospital relied on water treatment systems but these were not sufficient to control the risk.  The hospital trust has since spent £1.7 million on improving the water system to control the risk at source.  Some events involve water features which can present a risk and employ a contractor to ensure that it is properly controlled.  Further guidance can be obtained from

 1.     Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act
2.     The Health and Safety at Work Etc Act 1974 (General Duties of Self-Employed Persons) (Prescribed Undertaking Regulations) 2015.
3.     Seventy-six people were injured when part of the roof came down during a performance of The Curious Incident of The Dog In The Night-Time at the Apollo Theatre London in December 2013.  It was caused by the deterioration in the hessian wadding embedded in the ceiling originally installed in 1901.