Thebe Safety Division, a subsidiary of the Thebe Exhibitions and Events Group, has appointed Shaun Harrison as Safety and Risk Officer, taking the lead in providing safety services to the events industry to ensure full compliance to the new Safety at Live Events Bill.
Carol Weaving, Thebe Exhibitions and Events Managing Director, says while her organisation takes great care to ensure technical compliance at live events, it is essential that uniform, strict standards be in place to ensure good crowd management. “In fact, we already offer a safety and risk service that pioneers the implementation of these standards by event organisers.”
Mike Lord, General Manager of the Coca-Cola dome and the Safety Division says that clients are relying on their own security component to manage and audit events and carry out risk assessments. “We have the credentials, knowledge and experience to assess, mitigate and control risks, which ultimately affect events and company reputation if not managed effectively. This expertise will now also be applied to the benefit of other event organisers.”
Part of Harrison’s responsibilities is to provide event organisers with fully comprehensive safety and disaster management plans, offering solutions to impending risks.
Harrison has over 24 years service in fire and safety at the Johannesburg Emergency Management Services. He was voted the City of Johannesburg’s Emergency Management Services Employee of the Year 2006.
He specialises in building plan applications, flammable liquids, site plan development and approvals and city by-law enforcement. He is a graduate of the International Fire Engineers of London, the South African Fire Services Institute, a certified National Occupational Health and Safety (NOSA) representative and qualified in safety and fire investigation and gas installations.
Weaving says all live events in South Africa are classified as work activities and are subject to the Occupational Health and Safety Act. “The advisory standards for managing health and safety at live events that, among others, are establishing requirements for crowd management of various sizes at different types of events, are encouraging. Should organisers follow the standards and apply the advice properly, the chances of having a successful and trouble-free event increase multifold.
“With, for example, the world’s biggest live event – the 2010 FIFA World Cup Soccer tournament – being staged in South Africa, the organisers and supporters from over the globe need to know that we will manage the event well. They want to be ensured that they will be safe.
“For the past 18 months, Thebe has being offering a fully comprehensive safety solution to our existing clients. With this critical element often overlooked or not taken seriously enough by event organisers, we have beefed up our resources to grow this division into the leader in assessing and finding solutions to potential risks and problems.
“We are proud to offer event organisers a strategic safety service under the able guidance of Harrison. This will go a long way in ensuring the safety and security of event organisers and visitors,” says Weaving.