We had a lecture a couple days ago about risk assessment. It basically thought us that we need to look at all the little details, even if things seem harmless to us we need to think of any kind of possible risks. The three main things to look at are the setting up of the gallery, the actually exhibition and finally the dismantling of the exhibition.
While setting up the exhibition we need to make sure that all the fire exits are still reachable. We have a small venue with one door so that basically means we cannot build anything by the door. If we are going to be building something that requires a framework we need to be 100% that the framework won’t collapse or that it won’t be slippery. If we are adding a podium to our show we need to make sure there isn’t any slipping or tripping hazard and if we get a ladder in to hang something up high we need to check that out before we use it too. We always need to consider cables as people can easily trip on them.
We aren’t allowed to have anything near the door. There needs to always be a 1 meter wide pathway throughout the exhibition to get to the door (in case of a fire). If we have tables and chairs we need to make sure they are all in working order. When using lights, we need to make sure they don’t flash as anyone with epilepsy could react to it badly.
The dismantling procedure would be quite similar to setting up. Make sure nothing is in the way of the fire exit, there aren’t any wires to trip on etc.
Another thing we need to consider is that we have quite a high step up to get into the gallery. This is a tripping hazard so need to be noted down. Joe Alabaster said that he might be able to get a ramp (for wheelchair access) which would be less of a hazard but I think we will also end up putting some yellow and black tape up on the floor to make sure it catches people’s eyes. Another hazard by the door would be a slipping hazard if it is wet. The exhibition will be held in December and it could be snowy or rainy outside. If people come inside with their wet shoes it will get very slippery. We might have to invest in getting a mat to make sure it doesn’t get wet inside.
We must ask Joe Alabaster for an electrical certificate to see whether all the lights are allowed to be used. We will also ask him whether he has got a risk assessment of the place so we can get an idea of what we need to write down.
For the chairs we are hiring/buying we might need to ask the University whether they could lend us a van. We would use the van to move chairs from one area to the other. This eliminates the hazard of us falling while holding the chairs or getting back problems for example.
Although some things might seem a bit silly and pointless to write down, if anything does happen and we haven’t put it down on the risk assessment form we might get it big trouble. If we get taken to court, the risk assessment form is one of the first things they look at and it could save us a lot of trouble!