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aef 2024 Barcelona


You must complete the health and safety form. A detailed and suitable and sufficient 'Risk Assessment' for your attendance at the event - with focus on the build-up and breakdown processes - should be submitted as standard.

This section details all of the health & safety information that you must consider when designing, building and operating your stand at the show. Health and Safety is an important issue at events and as such it is vital that you read the following information carefully and ensure that you and your staff, as well as any contractors that you employ adhere to the provisions fully.

We appreciate that some of you may be unfamiliar with the legal and practical aspects of Health and Safety management. This section is designed to give you sufficient guidance to discharge your responsibilities. Guidance, however, can only go so far and you have a legal duty to ensure that your operations and actions do not compromise health and safety. Failure to do so can lead to prosecution and other legal sanctions. If you are unsure you are urged to contact the Operations Manager. Please do not leave health and safety issues to the last minute. The earlier we have your information the better the support we can give you.

Below, we have set out our responsibilities under the prevailing legislation and under the auspices of the Health and Safety at Work (etc.) Act 1974 and The Equality Act 2010, together with subsequent Regulations, Amendments and Approved Codes of Practice. As an exhibitor you are also required to ensure that your attendance at the event is conducted in a way that exposes you and those around you to the minimal possible risk.


The exhibition halls are an ever-changing environment with constant construction and dismantling of exhibitions and with different layouts for each event.  This in itself means that there are hazards peculiar to the industry.  This brief is intended as a basic guide to the generic hazards found in the halls, and applies to anyone who may have cause to enter the exhibition halls.   It does not cover any specific event.   Anyone working on a specific event should consult the risk assessment for the event held by the organiser/promoter and the halls event management department.

Who is at risk?

EVERYONE working in or passing through the halls is at risk to some extent. Those whose work is in the halls are at risk due to their constant exposure. Those who do not normally work in the halls will be at risk because the environment will be unfamiliar and they will be less aware of the day to day hazards.

Who is most vulnerable?

  • Persons with little or no knowledge of the halls.
  • New and expectant mothers may be especially at risk and should not work in the halls without a specific Risk Assessment to cover their activities.
  • Young persons (aged 16 – 18) have a lower perception of risk in general and should be subject to a specific Risk Assessment to cover their activities.

Managing the Risk

The safest way to deal with risk is to avoid it altogether. Unless there is no alternative do not use the halls as a transit route especially during build-up and break down. If you have no business in the halls, simply avoid them. If you must go into the halls reduce the risk by making yourself aware of the hazards.  Obey safety signs and never cross barriers into prohibited areas. Avoid areas of obvious risk e.g. overhead working.

Lastly, always wear PPE where designated e.g. hard hats in hard hat areas. Note: PPE should always be a last resort. It is better to avoid risk altogether.

Children under the age of 16 are not allowed in the halls during build-up and break down.

The Hazards of the Halls

If you do need to be in the halls, be aware of the main hazards you will encounter....

  • The changing environment when moving from one hall to another.
  • Moving vehicles such as goods vehicles and forklift trucks especially in and around cargo/vehicle doors. Reversing vehicles are particularly dangerous.
  • Cable duct openings in the floor.
  • Slip, trip hazards on the floor, particularly plastic sheets (which can be very slippery) and trailing cables.
  • Sharp objects and nails in wood which can pierce ordinary footwear.
  • Falling objects – avoid areas of overhead working.
  • Suspended wires. Often there are wires and other objects hanging at below head height.
  • Not all exits will necessarily be open. The only fire exits open are those with signs illuminated.
  • Partially built structures which may not be stable.
  • Sudden crowd movements and surges during seated events.
  • Overexposure to noise levels which could be damaging to hearing.
  • The potential to fall from height from partially built structures e.g. seating, exposed edges on the upper levels.

Health and Safety Legislation

The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 is the legislative foundation for all workplace Health & Safety Regulations. There are a number of areas of the Act which are of particular importance to the management of contract work.

Health & Safety at Work Act 1974

Section 2 - deals with the

  • Provision and maintenance of safe plant and safe systems of work
  • Safe handling, storage, maintenance and transport or work articles and substances
  • Provision of information, instruction, training and supervision
  • Provision of a safe place of work with safe access and egress
  • A safe working environment with adequate welfare facilities
  • These must be maintained for exhibitors, contractors and employees of ANY company working within any premises hired by AEF.

Section 3 - Places a general duty on employees to ensure the health and safety of people who may be affected by work activities but who are not employees; this includes contractors, temporary workers and visitors on site.

Section 4 - Requires persons in control of premises where plant and substances are available for use by non-employees to ensure, so far as reasonably practical, that there are no risks to the health and safety of these people.

The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 requires additional action to be taken in order to ensure compliance. 

Regulation 3 - Requires suitable and sufficient risk assessments to be completed, all significant risks must be identified with suitable and sufficient control measures put in place.

Regulation 6 - Appointment of competent persons in health and safety

Regulation 7 - Establish and implement emergency procedures

Regulation 9 - Co-operation and co-ordination in shared workplaces

Regulations 8 & 10 - Provision and sharing of information

Construction Design Management

Since the HSAWA Act in 1974, event organisers have calculated the risks associated with the construction and deconstruction of events and enforced controls to ensure that all employees, contractors and visitors were provided with a healthy and safe working environment while onsite.

In April 2016 the Construction Design Management (CDM) regulations came into force in the UK to further regulate the industry and ensure that safety is the highest priority.

It is now the responsibility of organisers, as principal contractors, to do all that is reasonably practicable to prevent personal injury and damage to property and to protect everyone from foreseeable work hazards at all locations. Co-operation and participation of all employees, exhibitors, contractors and sub-contractors are essential to obtain high standards of safety practices. Therefore, no exhibitor or contractor will gain entry to the halls during construction or deconstruction without a signed copy of the Site Induction Form, which will be sent to you around 3 weeks prior to the show.

If you have any further questions relating to CDM and how it affects your participation at this event, please contact the Operations Team. There is also some good advice and guidance at

Equality Act

The Organisers endeavor to provide all visitors with the same opportunities.

Exhibitors should be aware that they also have obligations under the Equalities Act 2010 (which has replaced most of the Disability Discrimination Act) because Exhibitors are considered service providers. Service providers are required to make changes, where needed, to improve service for disabled customers or potential customers. There is a legal requirement to comply with the Act to ensure disabled people are not treated less favorably than people who aren't disabled, which include:

- Reasonable adjustments must be made to services and environments so that disabled people can access them.

- Inaccessible features must be removed or altered.

- A reasonable alternative, or means of avoiding inaccessible features, must be provided.

- Delivery of services by a reasonable alternative must be provided.

It is important to understand that access for disabled people is not only about physical access to buildings for wheelchair users but also includes access to written information for people with visual impairments and access to the same standard of service for all. Health & Safety legislation should always remain the primary concern whilst making changes under disability regulations.

This list is by no means exhaustive and must be used as a guide only. Further information about The Equality Act 2010 can be found at:

Health and Safety Responsibilities

aef Events Policy Statement

aef aims to set the benchmark standard for managing health and safety in exhibitions.

This is not only our moral and legal duty, but it is commercially important for the success of every event. We recognise that our exhibitors rely on us to provide a trading environment on the exhibition floor which is safe and without risks to health. We also recognise that running a public event places a special responsibility on aef and extends our duty of care not only to our staff but to exhibitors, contractors, venue staff, visitors and members of the public. Thus we seek not just to comply with the Health and Safety at Work Act and other relevant legislation, but to provide a health and safety framework that is continually improving and genuinely supportive of our client’s business objectives. The Show Director is ultimately responsible for health and safety at the Show.

It is the policy of AEF to ensure that all employees, contractors and visitors are provided with a healthy and safe working environment and is committed to providing adequate control of Health and Safety risks arising from this event.

We recognise that we have overall responsibility for the event and for the co-ordination of the activities of the contractors, our staff and service providers on site.

aef has the following responsibilities,

  • To provide and maintain safe and healthy working conditions in accordance with the statutory requirements.
  • To provide and maintain plant and equipment as required for safe working conditions.
  • To comply with the requirements of the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations.
  • To make available all information, instruction, and training; safety devices and personal protective equipment.
  • To maintain interest in health & safety matters that are associated with the Company’s activities and for its Management to set an example in all matters of health and safety.
  • To ensure there is a consulting mechanism between employees, contractors and management concerning Health, Safety & Welfare.
  • To comply with legislation, both statutory, regulatory and accepted code of practice to establish minimum standards that will be maintained and improved wherever possible.

Where appropriate, the risks have been assessed and controls put into place to minimise the risks. aef have reviewed current safety management and practices in line with the Health and Safety Executive’s L153 guidance document.

aef fulfils a number of duties in operating the overall event site. All exhibitors and their contractors have been made aware of their responsibilities and relevant safety documentation is requested and recorded as part of the stand design process.

The official contractors and the venue services appointed by the organiser’s fulfil further responsibilities being ‘Designers’ and ‘Contractors’ with respective responsibilities across the whole exhibition site as controlled by the Organiser.

To ensure that we manage construction and dismantling at the event safely the company will:

  • Eliminate or control risks so far as is reasonably practicable
  • Ensure work is effectively planned
  • Appoint the right people and organisations at the right time
  • Make sure that everyone working for the company has the right information, instruction, training and supervision to carry out their work safely and without risks to health
  • Have systems in place to help parties cooperate and communicate with each other and coordinate their work
  • Consult workers with a view to securing effective heath safety and welfare measures
  • Ensure any actions required are to be sensible and proportionate to the risk.

Risk Assessments

We all have a duty to minimise risk in our workplaces, and a wider duty to each other.  Part of this process is to carry out a suitable and sufficient, event specific risk assessment.

Organisers Requirements

aef has carried out suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks associated with this event, details of which can be obtained from the organiser’s office.

General risks associated with any exhibition are as follows:

  • Multiple contractors working in a single workplace
  • Fall from working at heights and working on a live edge
  • Objects falling from height or loads falling from vehicles
  • Impact injury from moving vehicles
  • Structural collapse of seating or an exhibition stand
  • The outbreak of Legionnaires disease from a water feature
  • Food poisoning incident from temporary catering outlet
  • Fire
  • Major incident and civil emergency
  • Excessive working hours.

This is an overview and by no means a comprehensive account of the risks involved at this event. It is the absolute duty of all parties to ensure that under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations and other legislation that suitable and sufficient risk assessments are conducted on all significant risks.

The Management Regulations and associated guidance also require that risks should be mitigated with a view to achieving a maximum reduction in the level of risk within the bounds of what is reasonably practicable. In general terms, emphasis should always be placed on eliminating or reducing risk at source. It must be remembered that personal protective equipment is usually control of last resort.

Exhibitor Requirements

As an exhibitor, you have a legal duty of care for the safety of anyone who may be affected by your activities. You are ultimately responsible for all aspects of safety on your stand during the build-up, the open period of the show and during the breakdown. Where you contract out the building and finishing of your stand you are still vicariously responsible for the activities of your contractors. You can discharge your duties by ensuring that you do the following:

  • Appoint a competent person to be responsible for health and safety on your stand. For the build-up and breakdown, this can be your contractor.
  • You MUST carry out suitable and sufficient risk assessment of all your activities and obtain relevant risk assessments from your contractors with supporting method statements for the building and demounting of your stand. If you have a shell scheme stand you can assume that the shell scheme contractor’s risk assessment has been obtained by the Organiser.
  • You must ensure that your staff and contractors working on site are informed of the site rules and health and safety arrangements which are detailed below and you must ensure so far as you reasonably can that they follow them.
  • You must ensure that all your staff on-site and contractors are familiar with the venue’s emergency procedures which can be found later within this document.

General Health & Safety

The following are the general health and safety site rules with regards to safe working. You are reminded that venue staff, exhibitors and contractors alike have a legal duty to cooperate with the Organiser on matters of health and safety which includes compliance with these rules.

All participants must comply with the eGuide and with any reasonable instruction given to them by either aef, their appointed health & safety staff, or the venue’s appointed health and safety staff.

Accident Reporting & First Aid

aef investigate all accidents and ‘near misses’ that occur on-site and we expect the co-operation of the exhibitors and contractors in investigating the true causes of any accident in order to try and prevent re-occurrence.  All accidents and near misses must be reported to the Organisers’ Office.  All contractors are required to comply with the RIDDOR Regulations 1995.

Alcohol and Drugs

Drinking of alcohol on-site by contractors during the build-up and breakdown phase is forbidden.


Animals are not allowed on site. Guide and hearing dogs are permitted on request.


Children under 16 are strictly forbidden to be in the halls during the build-up and breakdown. There are no exceptions to this rule.

Compressed gases (e.g. LPG)

Use of gases will only be permitted where essential and by exception and these must be registered as a special risk. A certificate of installation by a CORGI registered fitter is required for LPG installations. Only one cylinder can be kept on the stand at any one time and the said bottle shall never exceed 200 Nm3 (category 1 according to ITC MIE-APQ-5). Cylinders which have never contained gas (as opposed to cylinders which have been emptied) may be used for display purposes.


Dust must be kept to a minimum and dust sheets used. Dust extraction must be used, where fitted, on power tools.


Exhibitors and contractors must comply with The Electricity at Work Regulations, the IEE Wiring Regulations, and the venue’s electrical regulations.

  • All work must be checked by a fully qualified electrician and all temporary installations must be protected by an RCD and inspected before power is supplied to the stand.
  • There should be sufficient correctly installed and rated power sockets to preclude the use of extension leads and
  • long trailing flexes. If essential, extension leads must be correctly fused and limited to one per socket. Multi-sockets must not be used.
  • All electrical trunking must be clearly marked with white or striped tape.

Electrical supplies will be switched on at 0800hrs each morning and switched off 30 minutes after show close each night. Therefore, if you require a 24hr power supply; please remember to pre-order your requirements with the electrical supplier.


Please ensure our Emergency Procedures’ are distributed to all your staff. 

Emergency Procedures - (Coming soon)


Entrances/exits must be a minimum of 2.5m and emergency exits must be at least 1.5m wide. Exits with doors opening directly onto a gangway must be recessed into the stand. There should be a distance of no more than 12m to the nearest exit from any point on the stand.

Floor Conditions

There is a significant risk of slips, trips, and falls and sharp objects left on the ground. All those working in the halls in build-up and breakdown must wear appropriate safety footwear. Please note that sandals, flip flops and open toed shoes are not considered appropriate safety footwear.


Exhibitors and contractors have a duty to exercise proper controls over the release of noxious fumes and if necessary carry out a COSHH assessment. Please be aware of fumes from paint and spraying equipment. Engines of vehicles in the halls must not be left on idle.  Where this is unavoidable i.e. for cranes, the lifting supervisor is responsible for ensuring the combustion fumes do not build up in the halls, service tunnels and basements as a result.


The gangways are the minimum permissible by law and exhibitors and contractors are reminded that the gangways should not be used to store stand fitting or construction materials during build-up & breakdown. Designated emergency aisles must be kept clear at all times. Lifting contractors are not to set down loads in designated emergency aisles. Under no circumstances will exhibits, stand dressings, tables and chairs etc. be allowed to encroach into the gangways - please remember to keep all your exhibits inside your stand at all times.

Hanging Wire

Hanging wires are not to be left hanging below head height and must be marked with tape.

Hazardous Substances

Hazardous substances are not to be brought into the halls unless essential. The use of hazardous substances must be subject to a COSHH assessment. Exhibitors must declare the use or display of hazardous substances as a special risk.


Ensure that all access equipment you use is of sound construction and adequate strength. Fix ladders either at the top or bottom, as a 1:4 angle. The ladder should safely reach 1.5m past the point on which it leans. Trestle type supports are not to be used as ladders under any circumstances.

aef supports the industry Stop the Drop Campaign – more information is available under the Stop the Drop heading in the dropdown box or by visiting


These can cause burns.  Please ensure that adequate guarding is provided should you wish to install or use any spotlights on your stand that may be within easy reach of the general public.

Manual Handling

As far as reasonably possible, you should avoid the need to undertake manual handling operations which involve a risk of injury and appropriate steps are taking following a risk assessment to reduce any chance of injury to the lowest level reasonably practicable.

  • Think before lifting
  • Stand as near to the object as possible
  • Bend your knees and keep back straight
  • Grasp the load firmly
  • Lift with your legs
  • Hold the load close to the centre of your body

Painting & Decorating

It is prohibited at this venue to paint using spray guns.  The use of lead-based paints and primers is not permitted.  Contractors and exhibitors should be continually aware of the fire risks associated with paints. Painters must not work in confined areas unless adequate ventilation is available.  All waste products must be disposed of properly.

PPE - Personal Protective Equipment

High Vis jackets and safety footwear is required for all persons on the exhibit floor floor during Build Up. This will be applicable from Saturday until 11:30 on Monday. 

Suitable clothing should be worn relevant to the job being carried out including safety goggles or glasses, gloves and safety shoes. 


Smoking is now prohibited by law unless in external designated areas and e-cigarettes or vapes are also not permitted within the Venue.

Special Effects

e.g. Smoke, Lasers, Pyrotechnics, and Strobes

All special effects must be treated as special risks and are subject to strict controls in accordance with a risk assessment and the appropriate legal requirements. Further information can be obtained on these from the Operations Team

Stand Layout

Please see the Space Only section for information about your stand layout and how to submit your plans.

Temporary Steps

Temporary steps leading to and from exhibits must be sturdy, secure and safely positioned. All steps should conform to European standards. Steps should cover the width of the door/access to the exhibit. Where necessary they should be secured to prevent slipping and to account for the differences between the stand flooring and the surface they are specifically designed for.
During the day they should be checked regularly (and a written log kept) to ensure that they are still in the correct and safe position. The Organisers will carry out an onsite check and any steps deemed to be unsafe would have to be replaced. In order to avoid this inconvenience and additional expense, you are advised to ensure that any steps are suitable before arriving at the venue.


Textile Fabrics - unless non-combustible - may not be used for partitioning stands and so far as they may be used for the decorative treatment of such portions, the fabric must be backed with materials similar to that required for the construction of the stands. They shall be fixed taut to the backing board and secured at floor level by a skirting board not less than 75mm deep.

Upholstered seating

Upholstered seating must meet and pass the criteria for smoldering ignition source 0, flaming ignition source 1 and crib ignition source 5 when tested in accordance with 5 BS 5852 1990.


Contractors are not to discard sharp objects and to ensure that nails and screws are not left sticking out of waste wood and are either removed or hammered flat.

Special waste which may comprise a hazard such as chemicals, fats and cooking oils must be safely disposed of.
When designing your stand, please consider the environmental impact, or carbon footprint of your activities, and take steps to reduce this as much as possible.
All waste generated by your stand must be taken away by your contractors. Failure to do so may result in charges being passed back to you. 

Work Equipment

Exhibitors and contractors have duties under the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations to ensure that all tools are fit for purpose and safe to use.
All dangerous moving parts such as circular saws must be guarded with controls to prevent unauthorised use. The use of battery-powered tools is strongly encouraged to reduce trailing cables and risk of electrical hazards. Power tools are to take power from the 110v centre tapped earths provided and not from cleaner’s sockets which are 240v. Those using mains-powered tools must ensure that cables are not trailed across aisles. All portable electrical equipment must be subject to a suitable portable equipment testing regime.

Working at Height


Working at height is subject to the Working at Heights Regulations and in conjunction with LOLER. As such, all working at heights is subject to risk assessment.

  • All rigging from the roof is to be carried out by the official rigging contractor.
  • All working platforms are to have a guard rail, mid-rail and toe board.  Tools are to be kept on lanyards so far as is reasonably practicable.
  • Static and mobile access working platforms must be fit for purpose (see Working platforms).
  • Separate risk assessments are required for working on a live edge (before rails are in place).  In such cases fall arrest equipment must always be used.
  • Operatives working at a height other than on a static working platform designed for that purpose (e.g. scaffold) must be clipped on.
  • Operatives working at height must have suitable head protection e.g. bump caps.
  • Ground access to areas in the vicinity must be controlled to prevent persons from accidentally walking directly under high works. Ground workers in the vicinity must not work directly under high works and wear suitable head protection e.g. hard hats

aef supports the industry Stop the Drop Campaign – more information is available under the Stop the Drop dropdown on the Health & Safety menu, or by visiting

Working Platforms 

All Mobile Elevated Work Platforms (MEWPS) must comply with LOLER and have had a Thorough Inspection (TI) in the previous 6 months.

  • All working platforms are to have a guard rail, mid-rail and toe board.
  • Mobile access towers must be correctly constructed.
  • Mobile access towers must be fit for purpose.  Outriggers are to be used correctly with the correct height to width ratio (3.5 x shortest base width indoors and 3 x shortest base width outdoors).
  • Mobile access towers may not be moved whilst in use and wheels must be locked off.
  • Ladders must be footed or tied off and used in accordance with Construction (Health Safety and Welfare) Regulations.  The use of domestic ladders and steps is strictly forbidden.
All of the above is a summarised guide.For full details on any particular aspect, you must seek professional advice. If you do not know who to contact that please seek advice from the Operations Team


Exhibitors should order their electrical fittings from the appointed contractor. In the event of an electrical failure, the matter must be reported to the Organisers’ Office.

  • DO NOT tamper with the fuse board. Only qualified electricians may access the fuse box. Ask for help at the service desk.
  • DO NOT coil up your cables. Unroll them to ensure they don’t heat up or have them cut to a suitable length.
  • DO NOT wrap cable around metal objects. The cable should be clipped to the top edge of the stand as part of your lighting connection.
  • DO NOT plug everything in one outlet and DO NOT plug one lead into another. This causes overheating and may blow the fuse. Order enough sockets for your needs. Remember: 1 x 500watt socket = 1 x 4 way extension lead
  • DO NOT use multi-way adaptors. These are not suitable for use in commercial premises. Use an extension lead.
  • DO NOT allow conductors to become exposed. The inner coloured sheathing is to protect the conductors; the outer sheathing is to protect you.
  • DO NOT let cables drop to the floor unprotected. Exposed cables must be in a conduit or mini trunking.
  • All electrical equipment intended for use on stands must be PAT tested and labelled accordingly.
  • Cables must not run under carpet. If they run across the floor ensure they are covered by conduit or protective ramping (tape is not acceptable). Cable ramping stops trips and prevents damage.
  • All lighting must be kept at least 300mm away from fabric ceilings and other combustibles. All light fittings must be secured appropriately, and heavy light fittings must have a secondary means of support.

Ask us and we will help you get it right!

Electrical Testing

(Coming soon)

Quick Reference Guide to Appliance Power Consumption (UK)

We find that many exhibitors are not aware of the power requirements of equipment that they will be using. This Quick Reference Guide is designed to assist exhibitors in planning their power requirements, and if followed, will reduce the likelihood of problems occurring at the exhibition venue.

GES provides standard 3-pin English 13A socket-outlets, but with four different power ratings. The list below indicates the sort of equipment that can be used with each of the power ratings:

1000w is rated at 4 AMP AND CAN SUPPLY:

  • One computer [or 2 x laptops]
  • A small domestic fridge
  • Four mobile phone chargers
  • Table lamp
  • Television and video
  • Small domestic coffee machine (750W – 1kW)
  • Small domestic steamer (900W – 1kW)
  • Small microwave cooker (750W – 1kW)
  • Vacuum Cleaner (800W – 1kW)

or any combination of the above using a single 4-way extension (maximum length 2m) subject to a total load of 1000W.


  • Jug Kettle (2kW – 3kW)
  • Catering coffee machine (1.5kW – 3kW)
  • Industrial Cleaners (1.2kW – 3kW)

Please Note:

The list indicates individual items that can be used with each socket, with the exception of the 500W socket above. All sockets are supplied on daytime power only unless 24-hour continuous power is requested and quoted for.

Actual power requirements will vary dependent upon the individual equipment used. All electrical equipment has a Rating Plate that shows its power consumption in Watts (W) or kilowatts (kW). You should carefully examine all equipment to be used and calculate the exact power usage before ordering your electrical power requirements.

If you are ordering a socket so as to be able to supply your own lighting arrangement(s), then in accordance with the regulations, the maximum power rating of any single lighting circuit is 1000W (1kW), so if, for example, you had 3kW of lighting on your stand, you would need to order 3 x 1kW sockets for this arrangement.

Under the current regulations it is not permissible to order a socket and use it to supply a consumer unit if you are carrying out the installation of your own electrical wiring and equipment. In these circumstances you will need to order an electrical mains supply.