Somerset-based event safety experts RDHS Management Consultants have had their outstanding work at the 2015 European Games in Baku, Azerbaijan, recognised with a prestigious British Safety Council Award.
Working in partnership with Harrier UK, RDHS took responsibility for overseeing health and safety at the 68,000 capacity Baku Olympic Stadium, including ensuring the smooth operation of both the opening and closing ceremonies at the games. In addition to the 6,000 or so athletes from as far afield as Russia and Israel taking part in the ceremonies, the athletic events also saw regular crowds in excess of 25,000 attending throughout the 16-day duration of the games.
RDHS began preparation work in late 2014, some seven months prior to the games, and, after finding that in many areas there was no overarching health and safety legislation in place, introduced European standards and employed Health and Safety Executive best practice to put new processes in place. Since the stadium was built specifically for the games, the firm had to develop many procedures from scratch.
With responsibility for a variety of areas, including crowd management, food and water hygiene and fire safety, the team also had to monitor weather conditions carefully- Baku often has very high winds to contend with so temporary structures and banners were a concern, and it can also be extremely hot, requiring adequate protection and water for games employees.
Although primarily using staff from the UK, RDHS and its partners also hand-picked, with the help of another UK company, Broadstone, sub-contracted staff and a further four local health and safety advisers.
The award will be presented at a gala ceremony in London this May. Speaking after announcing the winners, British Safety Council Chairman, Mike Robinson, said: