‘’Sound, especially when recorded, transmitted, or reproduced.’’ (Oxford, 2016)

It is useful to know how to set up a PA system. A PA system usually consists of a set of speakers, a source of sound and a mixing desk.

To set it up, you must:

  1. Place the speaker onto a stand and tighten the screw. (Figure 1)
  2. Connect the speaker to the mixing desk using leads, making sure that the power remains OFF.
  3. Connect a source of sound (microphone) to the mixing desk. (Figure 2)
  4. Turn on the mixing desk first, and then the speakers to use the system.
  5. When turning the system off, do the exact same, but in reverse order.

(Figure 1. Anon, 2016)


(Figure 2. Woodward, 2016)

For more information on how to set up a PA system, watch this video.

When working with a band or performer, they should usually supply you with a technical specification (or tech spec). It is… ‘’a document outlining all the necessary technical information of a facility or band.’’ (Audio, 2010) This informs the venue technicians of what they are setting up.

For information on how to fill one out, click here.


Click here: AUDIO, Total Pro. 2010. “How to write a band technical specification.” [online]. Available at: [accessed 27 October 2016].

Watch this video: BEAMWORKSPRODUCTIONS. 2013. How to set up a simple PA System Available at: [accessed 27 October 2016].

OXFORD. 2016. Audio. Oxford University Press. Available at: [accessed 27 October 2016].

Figure 1: Available at: [accessed 27 October 2016].

Figure 2. Woodward, Jack, 2016.



‘’The arrangement of lights used in a room, house, theatre, etc.’’ (Cambridge Dictionary, 2016)

Lighting is a key aspect of any type of event. It helps create the atmosphere and sets the mood which can play a big part on how the audience perceives the event.

When looking at the lighting for an event, there are 4 main areas to consider:

  1. Lanterns
  2. Support
  3. Power
  4. Control

There are a number of different lanterns you can use to light up an event. A wash light (Figure 1) is one of the main lights used. It is described as… ‘’a general lighting effect, where a broad beam is used to generally light up an area on a stage.’’ (Sweetwater, 2016) Figure 2 shows an example of the effect it can give.


(Figure 1. Anon, 2016)


(Figure 2. Anon 2016)

There are many different types of support available to use for an event, such as scaffolds, trusses and lighting grids. Figure 3 shows an example of lights attached to a truss.


(Figure 3. Anon, 2016)

Power is the use of sockets and also the distribution of cables. All stage lighting is plugged into a control desk (Figure 4), which is used to effectively control how the lights work. ‘’The dimmer units are controlled by miniature sliding faders on the lighting control desk.’’ (Mort 2013a: p. 4)


(Figure 4. Woodward, 2016)

There is always going to be potential hazards and risks when working with lighting, so it is important that you know what you are doing. For more information on electrical safety click here.


CAMBRIDGE DICTIONARY. 2016. “Lighting meaning in the Cambridge English dictionary.” [online]. Available at: [accessed 27 October 2016].

Click here: Electrical safety. 2014. [online]. Available at: [accessed 27 October 2016].

MORT, Skip. 2013a. Stage lighting – the technicians guide: An on-the-job reference tool. A&C Black.

Figure 1. EMD Stagg SLW200ZD – Eu Uk wash light 200w. n.d. [online]. Available at:—euuk-wash-light-200w-4501-p.asp [accessed 27 October 2016].

Figure 2. SWEETWATER. 2016. “Wash (stage lighting).” [online]. Available at: [accessed 27 October 2016].

Figure 3. n.d. [online]. Available at:×1-pixel-mapping-linear-wash-effect-light.html [accessed 27 October 2016].

Figure 4. Woodward, Jack, 2016.



Manual handling is defined as ‘’any transporting or supporting of a load (including the lifting, putting down, pushing, pulling, carrying or moving thereof) by hand or bodily force.’’ (MHOR, 1992)

Incorrect manual handling can cause serious injury, therefore you should not be engaging in lifting and carrying heavy loads without proper training. ‘’Every year, 300,000 people in the UK suffer from back pain due to manual handling accidents.’’ (UNISON, 2013) Figure 1 shows the guideline weights for lifting and lowering objects. When lifting objects, it is important to keep your head upright. (Figure 2)


(Figure 1. HSE, 2012)


(Figure 2. HSE, 2012)

For an in-depth tutorial of how to perform manual handling correctly, watch this video.

For more information, click here.


Rigging is defined as…’’an operation concerned with the lifting or lowering of a load’’ (LOLER, 2015)

Rigging applies to:

  • Lighting
  • Backdrops
  • Sound systems & PA
  • Aerial performance

It is vital that lifting accessories such as shackles and strops are checked that they have either a SWL or CE mark before use.

Figure 3 is an example of two people rigging a lantern.


(Figure 3. Woodward, 2016)

In order to rig safely, you must:

  • Know how heavy your load is
  • Know the SWL (Safe Working Load) of what you are using
  • Make sure lights are PAT tested and safe to use
  • Make sure the ground crew aware of what you are doing

If you’re interested in seeing some footage of rigging an arena, click here.


Backpain – advice for employers – manual handling regulations. 2012. [online]. Available at: [accessed 27 October 2016].

Figure 1. HEALTH AND SAFETY EXECUTIVE (HSE). 2012a. Health and safety executive manual handling at work A brief guide. Available at: [accessed 27 October 2016].

Figure 2. HEALTH AND SAFETY EXECUTIVE (HSE). 2012b. Health and safety executive manual handling at work A brief guide. Available at: [accessed 27 October 2016].

Lifting operations and lifting equipment regulations (LOLER). 2015. [online]. Available at: [accessed 27 October 2016].

Manual handling | health and safety | UNISON national. 2013. [online]. Available at: [accessed 27 October 2016].

Watch this video: SPORTSTRUCTURESTV. 2011. Manual handling training back to basics YouTube Available at: [accessed 27 October 2016].

Click here: TIMO LEHRMANN. 2013. Rigging O2 world Hamburg Available at: [accessed 27 October 2016].

Click here: n.d. [online]. Available at: [accessed 27 October 2016].

Figure 3. Woodward, Jack, 2016.


‘’Work at height means work in any place where, if precautions were not taken, a person could fall a distance liable to cause personal injury.’’ (HSE, 2014)

WAH has many health & safety risks, therefore, it should only be undertaken when unavoidable.

When undertaking WAH, you must:

  • Use appropriate equipment and have had been trained to use it correctly (see Figure 1 below)
  • Always check that the equipment is safe to use
  • Report any equipment you think is faulty
  • Make sure to never work at height when alone



(Figure 1. Woodward, 2016) Ladder with a large footprint

WAH includes:

  • Working on a ladder
  • A flat roof
  • Working near an opening in a floor or hole in the ground

Statistics show that ‘’falls from height were the most common cause of fatalities accounting for 31% of fatal injuries to workers. (HSE, 2014)

Certain regulations have been put into place to ensure safety when working at height:

  • Health and Safety at Work Act (1974)
  • WAH Regulations (2005)
  • PUWER (1998)
  • LOLER (1998)

When using a ladder, it is important to ensure that you have 3 points of contact at all times. An example of this is shown below in Figure 2.


(Figure 2. Anon. 2016)

Here is a video outlining the correct way to use ladders.

For any more information on working at height, visit this page.


HEALTH AND SAFETY EXECUTIVE (HSE). 2014. Health and safety executive slips & trips and falls from height in Great Britain, 2014. Available at: [accessed 27 October 2016].

Here: SAFEWORK NSW. 2016. Safe use of ladders Available at: [accessed 27 October 2016].

Work at height – frequently asked questions. 2014. [online]. Available at: [accessed 27 October 2016].

Work at height – occupational health and safety. 2015. [online]. Available at: [accessed 27 October 2016].

Figure 2. n.d. [online]. Available at: [accessed 27 October 2016].

Figure 1. Woodward, Jack, 2016.



‘’The laws, rules, and principles that are intended to keep people safe from injury or disease at work and in public places.’’ (Cambridge Dictionary, 2016)

The Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 (HASAWA) is the main piece of legislation that covers occupational health and safety in the United Kingdom. This act is important to know as it outlines the legislation needed for events.

When looking at health and safety, make sure to:

  • Check all electrical equipment is PAT tested and safe to use
  • Ensure ground crew are using the correct equipment and have sufficient training
  • Keep fire exits clear and accessible
  • Always undertake a risk assessment


There is always going to be an element of risk in any event, and it is always good to know what they are before the event happens. A risk assessment is ‘’a systematic process of evaluating the potential risks that may be involved in a projected activity or undertaking.’’ (Oxford, 2016) It is an important document that summarises what could go wrong, how to prevent it and what to do if one of the risks becomes a problem. An example is shown below in Figure 1.


(Figure 1. Risk management: Interactive tools 2014)


Health and safety at work etc act 1974 – legislation explained. 2016. [online]. Available at: [accessed 27 October 2016].

Cambridge Dictionary 2016. HEALTH, safety MEANING, the Cambridge English DICTIONARY and CAMBRIDGE DICTIONARY. 2016. “Health and safety meaning in the Cambridge English dictionary.” [online]. Available at: [accessed 27 October 2016].

OXFORD. 2016. Risk assessment. Oxford University Press. [accessed 27 October 2016].

Risk management: Interactive tools. 2014. [online]. Available at: [accessed 27 October 2016].