Australian Entertainment Safety Resource Guide what is it?

Posted by | September 3, 2019 | Association

What is it?

The Australian Entertainment Safety Resource Guide is roughly based on the UK ‘Purple Guide’ format.  The Purple Guide, which was written by experts within the event industry with Government guidance, was first published in 1992, aiming to help companies, organisations and individuals who organise live events, such as the Glastonbury and V Festival, to ensure that the event runs safely. The document itself has now been revamped and is updated regularly.  It was also the template for the USA ‘Event Safety Guide’ which was launched last year.

The strength of the Australian Entertainment Safety Resource Guide is that it will go beyond just the Work Health Safety Act and Regulation and include references to the Building Code of Australia, to relevant Australian Standards, to relevant Codes of Practice and common ‘industry best practice’ advice.

And it will be precisely that, a resource guide, a starting point providing advice on organising a safe event.  Because every situation is unique, the aim is to help you interpret the current Act and Regulation and find a solution that suits you and meets the legal obligations.

Why now?

In recent years we have seen a number of large scale disasters in the entertainment industry mostly overseas. Think about Pearl Jam at Roskilde in Denmark where 9 people died in a crowd crush, the Station Nightclub fire in West Warwick, USA where 100 people suffocated and were crushed, Love Parade in Duisburg, Germany where 21 people were crushed to death or the collapse of the stage during the Indianapolis State Fair in Indianapolis, USA which killed 7 people. And of course Jessica Michalik at the Big Day Out 2001 in Sydney. But also look at less publicised accidents in the entertainment industry like the 2003 rigging collapse before a Justin Timberlake concert in Atlantic City, NJ, the Madonna roof collapse in Marseille in 2009 or the Radiohead roof collapse in 2012.

We work in a high risk, high profile industry and things can get out of control really quickly.   Often people are trying to do the right thing but end up frustrated by not being able to find the answers they need or by getting inconsistent answers.  Sharing information will improve safety without unnecessary paperwork and increase everyone’s work enjoyment.

This is the main drive, to give everyone in the industry the right information to make an educated decision. This is not about adding more paperwork, this is about making it simpler to find the right answer and reducing paperwork so we can focus (pun intended) on what is important for the show. And meet our obligations.

How can you use this guide?


(a) This guide is continually revised. Each Chapter has the latest revision at the top, and a full table of revisions at the end.

(b) In the ACCOUNTS area you can see (and prove) your reading history.

(c) Upon subscribing, we email you a Certificate of Currency, showing you are an active subscriber. (Not available for students)

Safety in the workplace is a model, not a set of rules. Rules can only cover so much and in the entertainment industry, we always look for ways to do things differently which would require a constant rewriting of documents and further confusion of workers.

If we replace the ‘rules’ by a range of concepts that highlight a hazard or a risk and a range of solutions to control that risk or hazard than we can cover a much broader area without being too onerous or restrictive. The downside, you’ll have to do some work and apply some thought.

The main purpose of the guide is to bring together all the pieces of information you will need to make a balanced decision on how to run a safe workplace. Each workplace is unique, each production is unique, each element within that production is unique for that specific purpose. Sometimes you may find that things done previously can apply for the current job, however, there will be times you need to rethink how to approach the subject and how to make it work on all levels.

This guide is not about telling you how to do your job, it is about giving you the information so that you can decide what to do and how to document it.

For more information


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