A thorough site survey communicates event needs and flags potential safety issues.
Ensuring the safety of tented event participants and the tent installation crew starts at the beginning of the job. Before a single rental item is loaded onto the truck, a site survey should be completed by a qualified professional with set-up experience.
A well-thought-out site survey accomplishes several things. First, it serves to formally communicate the needs of the client to the rental company. A trained sales consultant or job foreman (someone familiar with the customer, the event needs and the tent installation requested) can complete the survey and pass the information on to those responsible for the installation. With that information, the rental company can determine if it can ensure a safe installation of any tent and support items.
A site survey also serves as a communication tool between the rental company and the client. With a site survey checklist in hand, the site inspector can highlight safety concerns (utility matters, site obstructions or site access questions) and address these issues with the client.
For example, a quick visual check of the environment at the event site, including but not limited to overhead or surrounding utilities and other obstacles, is one of the most important steps in the process. If overhead power lines and other obstructions do not allow for a safe installation at the designated location, perhaps another area of the venue would be better suited for the installation. If the event cannot be relocated on-site, then other equipment may be required to meet the needs of the customer and ensure the safety of the installers.
It is important to note that the person performing the site inspection must have the authority to make decisions with regard to safety concerns that may arise in the survey. Certainly, there are other concerns to be addressed in a proper site survey, but if safety issues are not taken care of first, other items should be considered inconsequential.
Thanks to many industry initiatives focused on educating event professionals about site safety, more planners and rental operators understand the value of a thorough site inspection. They are embracing the fact that safety is all encompassing. Everything—the items being rented, their value to the event, the safety of the installation crew and ultimately, the participants at the event—is affected by safety issues.
Bryan Bolt is sales manager for TopTec Event Tents, Moore, S.C.