All exhibition stands are miniature workplaces covered by health and safety legislation, therefore they require Risk Assessment and Method Statement documentation to cover this.

If you self-build your stand, you are responsible for the submission of this documentation to the Organisers for the installation and dismantle period, as well as the open period of the show.

However, if you employ a Contractor, they will be responsible for the submission of this documentation for the install and dismantle period – but you as the Exhibitor still have to cover the open period of the show.

When employing a Contractor, you will also complete a formal Appointment of Principal Designer and Contractor, as part of Regulation 5 of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015.

If your stand is fairly simple shell scheme package this be pretty straightforward.  But if your stand is a more complex construction in a space only booth, a more detailed Risk Assessment and Method Statement will be required by the Show Organiser.

Additional information may be required (e.g. Fire Risk Assessment or Structural Calculations) – please refer to your Exhibitor Manual.

Risk Assessments for Exhibition Stands.

Your company will almost certainly have a Health & Safety Policy to cover your usual work place. However, you may not be aware that you have a responsibility to extend this policy to cover temporary places of work (such as participation at exhibitions). Exhibition sites in particular will have hazards that are not present in your usual workplace and as such your current documentation could be unsuitable.  Injuries can result from construction, machinery, falling panels, trips on stairs, heavy lifting, electrical shocks, vehicles and fire.

The Risk Assessment should cover all activities taking place during the installation and dismantle of the stand, as well as activities taking place during the open period of the show.

The most widely accepted approach in the events industry is the five steps approach as follows:

1: Identify the Hazard and who could be harmed.

2: Assess the risk

3: Develop Controls

4: Implement Controls

5: Monitor and Review

Identifying the Hazard and who could be harmed

Some examples to take into consideration would be:

  • Will you require lorries or vans to enter the hall to unload?
  • What contractors are going to be on your stand and what construction work will they be carrying out?
  • Will ladders or scaffolding be needed?
  • Will you need a forklift or crane?
  • What electrical work will be carried out?
  • Will power tools be needed?
  • Do all materials comply with fire regulations?
  • Will you be catering for visitors?
  • Will you be demonstrating products?

Setting up the Bank of England stand taking our health and safety premises

Assessing the risk

A widely used format to assess the risk is as follows:

LIKELIHOOD

1.Very Unlikely

2.Unlikely

3.Likely

4.Very Likely

5.Almost inevitable

SEVERITY

1.Trivial

2.Minor

3.Major

4.Single death or very serious life-changing injury

5.Multiple deaths or very serious life-changing injury

Multiply the likelihood by the severity to give each risk a score.  Then they can be grouped into very low, low, medium or high whereby:

1 – 4                Very low risk – Requires no action
5 – 7                Low risk – May require action or creating more awareness
8 – 14              Medium risk – Requires action to be programmed over the coming weeks
15 – 36            High risk – Requires action to be undertaken immediately

Developing Controls

  • Can you eliminate the risk at source? For example by having safety rigging during construction.
  • Can you substitute the risky product with something else?
  • Can you reduce the risk? Preventing access to the stand while overhead work is being carried out.
  • Can you isolate the risk?
  • Can you control the risk?
  • Ensure all construction workers have personal protective equipment.
  • Discipline – Brief staff thoroughly on the risks involved.

Implementing Controls

Record everything in a risk assessment form and ensure it is circulated to all staff and contractors.  Take the necessary steps to ensure all risks are minimised.

Monitor and Review

This allows you to learn by experience and take account of any unusual conditions or changes that occur on site. All venues have different rules and regulations, and certainly, no two exhibitions provide the same environment.

Method Statement

A method statement helps to identify hazards and plan the build/breakdown to ensure everyone is working within a safe environment. It is a requirement by Exhibition Organisers for all space only stands.  By talking through the method of building the stand with your contractor, you may be able to identify some hazards and plan the build/dismantle to ensure everyone is working within a safe environment.

The document will vary in length depending on the complexity of your stand. However, it should include at least the points specified below:

Responsible Person: The employee who will be responsible for the construction and breakdown of your stand and their contact details out of hours.

Stand Details and location: The dimensions, location, stand features.

Access: Details of the entry point into the halls and the route to the final position, number of vehicles and timings etc

Erection and timetable: The sequence and schedule in which all the stand elements will be built, including alignment, electrical connections etc

Stability: Methods of ensuring adequate structural support of any stand element that requires cross bracing, with calculations and inspection certificate from an independent structural engineer.

Lifting: Outline the equipment that will be used, their capacities, weight, locations and floor loadings.

Scaffolding: Include details of temporary and mobile scaffolds, access towers and other work at height which you intend to carry out.

Hazardous Substances: Any proposed use of hazardous and toxic substances must be advised to the Organisers and Venue. Outline the protection provided for employees and workers on adjacent stands.

Environment: Consider any abnormal noise that may be present or work that may create dust or fumes. What ventilation and other control measures will be provided?

Services: Note where electrical work will be carried out, welding, gases, compresses air, water or waste services will be brought onto site.

Exhibits: Provide the Organisers with any/all details on exhibits that may present a risk to the public and/or the operator.

Risk Assessments and Method Statements will be required by Exhibition Organisers if you book a space only stand and potentially also for shell scheme stand.  For help with your exhibition requirements call us on 01202 723 500, email designteam@quadrant2design.com. And if all else fails, fill out our form here.