The Event Safety Alliance (ESA) and the Entertainment Services and Technology Association (ESTA) have agreed on a joint copyright that will allow a second edition of The Event Safety Guide to be developed as an American National Standard (ANS). To take on the project, a new working group is being created within ESTA's Technical Standards Program (TSP) called the Event Safety Working Group (ESWG). Leading the new group will be co-chairs Dr. Donald Cooper, Executive Director of the ESA, and Richard Nix, Special Project Manager for ZFX, Inc. Dr. Cooper brings a wealth of experience to the project as the Editor of the first edition of the Guide and former Ohio State Fire Marshal. Mr. Nix brings the experience of a long career in the entertainment technology field, is co-chair of the TSP's Stage Lifts Working Group, and has been heavily involved in writing standards with the TSP since 1996.
The first ESWG meeting will be at 9am on Friday, 21 October, at the Embassy Suites, 3600 Paradise Road in Las Vegas, and participants are being sought. The working group has a special membership application form, available at http://tsp.esta.org/tsp/working_groups/index.html. The special application form is necessitated by the working group having interest categories different from ESTA's other working groups. The working group needs representation in each of the interest categories to have a balance of interests. The interest categories are:
- Event producer
- Equipment producer
- Equipment dealer or rental business
- Designer of events (including artistic elements, safety systems, etc.)
- Event worker
- Performing artist
- Event insurance company
- General interest
Voters in the Technical Standards Program are required to attend meetings and to vote on letter ballots. Membership in ESTA or any other organization is not a requirement for participation in ESTA's Technical Standards Program, but there is a $100 a year per person participation fee—a flat rate, regardless of voting status or the number of working groups a person joins. Remote attendance is available and counts towards voters' attendance requirements.
The first edition of The Event Safety Guide is an excellent reference to help people plan and execute safe events. However, it needs expansion and revision for a second edition, and American National Standard status would help it gain wider recognition and more people using it. The revision work can be done as part of the process of creating an ANS. The plan is to work on the Guide as a multi-part standard, so that sections needing little work can be adopted and published quickly.