Work with H&S not against
Whilst we seem to be surrounded by rules and regulations, most are designed and implemented for very good reason. Exhibitions have been in existence for hundreds of years and most of the pitfalls have been identified and preventative measures implemented. However experience shows that most scenarios and eventualities can be accommodated if the relevant H&S laws are adhered to. You are responsible for carrying out a risk assessment of your stand (outlining any trip hazards etc) which you or your stand contactor will need to file with the organiser. Full details of obligations are available from your organiser – don’t make the mistake of assuming it will be someone else’s responsibility. This will not only affect your insurance but ultimately could affect your participation at the event. Make sure you read the relevant section in your exhibitor manual or ask the operations contact of your organiser – in this instance ignorance of the law is not admissible as defence and fines and penalties are accordingly severe. Legislation will vary from country to country so practices that are commonplace in one may be forbidden in another. It is impossible for an exhibitor to be aware of all the individual requirements but it is expected that responsible organisers will have researched and published a comprehensive set of guidelines to you to use and adhere to.
Minima, maxima and the law
Full details of what you can and cannot do will be outlined in the exhibitor manual. You will be able to establish maximum build heights, floor and wall load bearings as well as options for access and egress. There will be logistical issues as well as legal requirements. The Disability Discrimination Act for example, may apply to UK events so access for disabled people will need to be considered, governing such items as plinths and platforms, ramps, stairs and so on. Do remember that each country will have their own limitations and requirements so do check with the organisers first.