With the introduction of new Australian work health and safety legislation only two months away, the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre recently convened a national forum to discuss key safety issues confronting the events industry.
From left to right: Tamara Kavalec, Manager Exhibitions, SCEC; Stephen Steenson, Reed Gift Fairs Exhibition Director, Reed Exhibitions Australia Pty Ltd; David Longman, Senior Operations Manager, Diversified Exhibitions Australia Pty Ltd; Stephen Wood, Director of Operations, SCEC; Llyris Young, Risk and Safety Manager, SCEC and Tony Allerton, Safety Manager, Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre
More than 20 industry representatives from around the country attended the event, the first step in establishing a plan for the introduction of a national approach to safety across the business events sector.
The Work Health and Safety Model Act 2010 comes into effect in January 2012 and will see all States and Territories harmonise their work health and safety laws so that they are similar in each jurisdiction.
Centre Director of Operations Stephen Wood said the venue felt it was important to take a lead in coordinating the forum so that the industry could collectively understand the impact of a national system, identify any gaps in the current state-based approach and address venue standardisation across the country.
Wood said the Centre had received very positive feedback on the event, which was attended by representatives of venues in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and the Gold Coast as well as exhibition and conference organisers and event industry suppliers.
“Everyone was pleased that we’d initiated a national conversation on these important workplace issues,” Wood said.
“There is a great spirit of cooperation and we’re very keen to address key safety issues collectively so that everyone is aware of their responsibilities in ensuring a safe workplace.”
Another meeting of key managers is said to be held in December to coincide with the Exhibition and Event Association of Australasia annual conference, in order to advance planning for an industry wide approach.