Empowering workers at Actsafe’s Event Safety Conference

Actsafe’s conference on event safety is all about sharing knowledge and equipping workers. On the agenda: crowd safety, mental health, opioids, and more. 

Photo of children on shoulders of adults in audience of concert on big stage

Photo credit: iStock.com/ColobusYeti

Actsafe’s annual Event Safety Conference brings industry stakeholders together to share knowledge about how to make live events and performing arts workplaces safer.

“The conference is about equipping people at all levels with the knowledge to empower them to create, maintain, and work in safe spaces,” says Ella Pritchard, Actsafe’s acting manager of communications. “We hope to nurture the growth of our industries’ safety culture and provide event organizers, vendors, management, crew, and anyone involved in the creation of live events, with the tools to do just that.”

Highlighting crowd safety

The conference, happening March 7–8, will include workshops, industry training, and a trade show. It’ll also feature experts in event safety.

One such expert is Eric Stuart, director of Genetian Events, a company that focuses on crowd safety. Crowd safety is an important part of any large public event. Event organizers and security teams need to effectively manage safety for crowds — and workers — during all phases of an event.

“Those with responsibility for crowds must understand the crowd’s reaction, the thought process, and the psychological factors in play,” said Eric via email. “An understanding of how crowds behave is an essential requirement in today’s environment.”

Eric’s two-day Crowd Safety Workshop will cover:

  • Understanding human behaviours that affect crowds
  • Calculating flow rates and density of people in crowded places
  • Identifying and managing crowd behaviours in emergency situations

(Note that Eric’s workshop will be taking place outside of the conference dates.)

Speaking up about mental health

The conference also includes workshops on mental health, addiction, and preventing concussion.

“Mental health is a topic that we definitely need to talk about more and help make more accessible,” says Ella. “If you work in the motion picture and performing arts industry, you may work long hours. Fatigue and burnout can lead to anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues.”

Another session covers the effects of opioids on the body and brain, and how to recognize an opioid overdose. Attendees will learn how to use the drug Naloxone to reverse the effects of opioid overdose. They’ll also leave with a free Take Home Naloxone kit.

Visit Calltime: Mental Health for more on helping film and performing arts workers with mental health and substance abuse issues. For more on opioid overdoses in this industry, see my post B.C.’s live event industry readies its response to opioid overdoses.

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