PYROTECHNIC HEALTH AND SAFETY
It is very important for us to manage the health and safety of our business by controlling the risks in our workplace. This is an important practice for the majority of businesses, but particularly in our industry where we are dealing with dangerous goods.
We have to take great concern for the general public who may be watching our work in large numbers, regularly tens of thousands at a time. As we operate in numerous different locations and venues, each with their own varied and inherent risk factors, every location has to be assessed separately.
Factors to consider
- Dangerous goods
- Changing locations
- Working at height
- Operating dangerous machinery
- Heavy lifting
Our employees need to be protected too – especially those who are working in close proximity to our pyro products, sometimes at height and in water as well as those operating machinery (installing pyrotechnics in trickier locations often need to be reached by a cherry picker or scissor lift).
Entertainment Effects has supplied Firework displays to the Royal Yacht for almost twenty years. We were used to firing from an open headland located adjacent to the Yacht, but due to recent housing developments and the new proximity of the firing site to the viewing area, we needed to adapt. We utilised the large expanse of water and used the obstacle to our advantage.
A HAZARD OR A RISK?
We identify real risks and think about how accidents could happen. This means that it is important to identify the difference between a hazard and a risk.
- A hazard is anything that may cause harm such as a flame jet, electricity, working on a roof, lifting a heavy item.
- A risk is the chance, high or low, that somebody could be harmed by these or other hazards, together with an indication of how serious the harm could be.
We assess each process with a score out of 10 on Hazard and Risk (Frequency). The two numbers are then multiplied together to make a ‘risk product’ and then assessed for a second time in the table below with the relevant action taken.
The assessment of risk is critical in the implementation and management of good health and safety. All explosives are potentially hazardous which is why Entertainment Effects takes responsibility for minimising the frequency of hazardous events occurring and mitigating the consequences of an event (should one occur).
MEMBERS OF THE BRITISH PYROTECHNIC ASSOCIATION
The British Pyrotechnics Association (BPA) is the trade body which represents the majority of Professional Pyrotechnic Companies. The association was founded by the industry itself and is committed to maintaining the highest standards amongst its members. The association is a central source of information regarding manufacture, storage, transportation, exhibition and on-site practices.
The BPA also operates a course of Firers examinations. This is a training scheme aimed at ensuring high standards and a uniform approach to processes. The training program has been accredited by City and Guilds.
The British Pyrotechnics Association strongly advises that anyone looking for a professional pyrotechnic display uses one of its members.
Entertainment Effects are proud members of the BPA; this covers the special effects element of our business.
HEALTH & SAFETY PRECAUTIONS OUR TEAM TAKE
All of our employees are trained to the BPA guidelines and we undertake the following precautions:
- DGSA: We employ a Dangerous Goods Safety Advisor who advises us on the transport of dangerous goods. Products must be packed and transported in accordance to international regulations. Products are given a classification by the UN and our advisor keeps us up to date with any changes in regulations.
- Portable Appliance Testing (PAT): PAT testing is the examination of electrical appliances to ensure that they are safe to use. We complete regular checks of our electrical equipment in order to prevent danger.
- CHAS: CHAS is one of the founders of third party accreditation. We previously employed a CHAS and H&S Compliance Advisor. They helped us review all of our key processes and develop a detailed staff handbook.
- Westminster Compliance: We now employ Westminster Compliance, a Health & Safety consultancy who are helping us manage our compliance and legislation. This includes premises inspections, auditing and training and an annual review of the handbook.
- First Aid Training: Our senior team have completed basic first aid training with Pro Medicus, a provider of independent ambulances, medical supervision and first aid training based in Harpenden.
YOUR OWN JOB SPECIFIC HEALTH & SAFETY DOCUMENT
We provide all customers with an extensive document which includes:
- An overview of the event and the services we’re providing.
- A method statement describing scheduled tasks and the way we work. It outlines the hazards involved and includes a step-by-step guide on how to do the job safely. This includes safety parameters, firing methods and safety stops.
- Diagrams or site layout maps are included to detail the location of our products in relation to the audience and other items of note.
There is also a fact sheet detailing specifics about each special effects and pyrotechnic product, including key features and fuels/explosive content.
Public Liability Insurance of £10million is also covered.