On April 28, countries around the globe will celebrate World Day for Safety and Health at Work. As such, it's a great opportunity to take a look at what we can do to improve safety in the exhibition hall. 

As a business leaders, you're well aware of your responsibility to provide safe, healthy working environments for your employees and people who visit your premises. However, occupational health and safety obligations don't end when you step foot outside of your own property. 

Health and safety: A business concern

Workplace injuries and illnesses cost Australian businesses $60.6 billion in 2008-2009.

When you participate in a trade show or exhibition, health and safety is an important consideration for a number of reasons. First and foremost, of course, you want to make sure everyone who steps foot in your booth or space is safe. That's a matter of common sense as well as sound business practice.  

However, these concerns may impact your company more than you'd think. If a booth were to fall down or appear to be unstable before a show, for instance, it could derail the schedule significantly. The entire hall might be shut down to give inspectors the chance to evaluate what caused the issue.  

In addition to the time it takes to respond to an incident that could have been prevented in the first place, health and safety issues can cause legal, financial and reputational consequences. Safe Work Australia's data revealed that workplace injuries and illnesses in the country amounted to $60.6 billion in 2008-2009 – nearly 5 per cent of the financial year's GDP.  

Shared responsibilities

So what does this mean when you work with an exhibition booth designer for a trade show or other event? What if you're hosting a conference or running a venue? In general, you still have a stake in the health and safety of those involved, even beyond basic humanitarian concern.

From creating the panels to running a booth, companies need to provide for the health and safety of workers and visitors.In the exhibition hall, companies need to provide for the health and safety of workers and visitors.

Australia's model Work Health and Safety Act dictates that all parties share responsibility for occupational health and safety, even if you contract out work to a third party. While the nuances of your duties and liabilities will vary based on your project, location and particular arrangements, you'll always want to take measures to ensure you're in compliance and reduce the possibility of an unforeseen incident interfering with a successful event.  

How can you do that? In addition to keeping your own staff trained on occupational health and safety, you should evaluate your suppliers and partners on their practices. 

This means checking into their track record and commitment to ensuring they provide for the well-being of people involved, keep products up to code and comply with legal requirements. Ask for documentation and records, such as relevant licences.

Working with an accredited provider also gives you added assurance their practices will be highly professional and compliant. That way, you can have piece of mind that your project will proceed on schedule and the end result will be constructed in a way that keeps everyone as safe and secure as possible. 

What does Proj-X do? 

At Proj-X, we take health and safety very seriously. From ensuring our trade show booth production teams have the right equipment to checking that electrical wiring is up to code on-site, we're committed to providing for the well-being of our staff, clients and those who visit our booths. 

Making Chimney stacks for Christmas?

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To demonstrate our competence in this area, we've become an accredited member of the Exhibition and Event Association of Australasia (EEAA), which is a non-profit organisation that establishes high standards for the industry. Selecting a vendor that is part of the EEAA offers greater assurance the company can provide a "superior level of performance and professionalism", in the words of the EEAA's website. 

More specifically, we've gained risk management accreditation according to the EEAA's Risk and Safety Management System, which helps us develop strategies and practices to create safer working environments. 

In addition to these measures, we ensure we uphold work health and safety rules by using industry-leading compliance software. When it comes to health and safety, we don't take any chances for our teams or our clients. And that's something you can count on.