Laser Safety in Entertainment Venues for Managers and Local Authorities
Lasers continue to be a popular lighting effect used in productions and fixed installations such a nightclubs. Falling costs and more compact technology removes much of the historic reputation of lasers being user-unfriendly, allowing them to be purchased and used by people with less experience of the safety issues, in new applications, and often in multiples.
Venue operators have both legal obligations and a moral duty of care to those that work and visit their premises to take sufficient steps to ensure the safety of any person that may be affected by the venue's activities. In the case of something going wrong, case law has shown that the venue shares the primary responsibility for ensuring safety.
In addition to LVR's industry leading laser safety assessment and consulting services that are used by many of the UK's largest and most high profile entertainment venues, we now offer a laser safety training course specifically addressing the needs of venue operators, providing them with the key knowledge to help fulfil their legal duties in protecting people at their workplace.
We offer both a full day and half day Awareness Training Course for Lasers. Both course's have been designed to give venue managers an overview of current laser technology and techniques used to create effects, along with the unique hazards that laser light present, and the steps that need to be taken to avoid problems occurring, and what to do if an incident occurs. It covers existing guidance from the HSE and British Standards Institute, and how to ensure you are taking the necessary steps to comply with the new Control of Artificial Optical Radiation at Work Regulations 2010, that were introduced on 27th April 2010.
After attending the course delegates will have a much better understanding of laser show issues, and be in a stronger position to identify hazards, and manage them sufficiently, protecting those that may otherwise be at risk from harm. The course will give the ability to make sure the right questions are asked and that laser show safety documentation is suitable for the installation.
This course is also of value to Local Authorities that may also be involved in overseeing and assessing laser installations for licensing purposes.
Why does the venue have to do this? Shouldn't the laser installer already be taking all the necessary steps?
They should… but unfortunately in many instances, we have found that some installers are not taking the care they should, with the working practices or equipment used, being less than satisfactory. Having overseen so many installations, we are very familiar with the usual problems that can occur and their causes. Often the desire on the part of the laser provider to satisfy the client in delivering an exciting lighting effect can sometimes lead to things being overlooked.
Regrettably incidents do happen, with 30+ people reported as being injured at the Aquamarine event in Russia in 2008, and 2 further people blinded at the Tomorrowland event in Belgium during 2009.
The bottom line is that if anyone at the venue gets harmed, the venue has a responsibility to show that they took sufficient precaution to prevent it from happening.