Venue Security and Safety – Are you concerned?
Are you prepared? As the operators of an entertainment venue are you taking precautions to prevent incidents such as stage collapses, do you have protocols in place to handle crowds? Has your personnel been trained in crowd control and de-escalation? What about principle clients visiting venues, before you arrive for an engagement, is your advance team thoroughly assessing venue locations? Are you allowing for an advance team at all?
We continually witness, with greater frequency, incidents that involve both entertainers and guests being injured by unforeseeable incidents such as this, or are they really unforeseeable? Due diligence should require that places of mass gatherings be required to take precautions, it is upon the venue management to be sure staging and bleachers are properly inspected by engineers for signs of stress or other weaknesses. If visiting a venue your advance team should inspect staging and other areas wherein collapses may occur.
Most recent stage collapse at an Indiana High School.
It is not only smaller venues that need to be concerned; here is another collapse at the Indiana State Fair.
In such location as New York, legislators have recently passed state laws that disallows local municipalities, normally responsible for code enforcement, to limit activities at agricultural fairs. In my opinion, legislators are placing revenue before safety and have given in to pressure from lobbyists. Regardless of what the law may limit for government be assured venue managers and promoters will be held liable if proper precautions have not been taken.
I have a saying, it is quite simple, pay now through taking the proper steps in protecting the people that have entrusted you before injury occurs, or pay later when catastrophe happens and lives have been irreversibly changed.
Bill Peeler is the Founder and President of Peeler Group International, a risk management consultancy established in 1995.