Paperwork for your DJ, Insurance, Electrical Safety (PAT) and more..
More and more venues are now asking for suppliers to provide paperwork before they may attend the venue.
As a client, this can appear confusing and I’ll admit that some suppliers use this to their advantage to scare clients into using them.
In the “Good Old Days”, none of this was required, but as venues are pushed on insurance premiums, they are passing responsibility onto suppliers to ensure they operate in a safe manner.
It’s a bit more work (for suppliers), but is important and does mean there are less accidents and people getting hurt when they should be having a great time.
I’ll explain each of the items of paperwork that may be required by your suppliers, these will be from a DJ’s perspective, but equally applies to other suppliers who attend the venue. So, your check your other suppliers have these bits of paper.
This doesn’t cost much money. So any supplier that doesn’t have PAT & PLI should be questioned as it’s very inexpensive.
Public Liability Insurance.
This insurance is commonly called “PLI” and is used to cover the DJ should their actions cause a claim. This would typically be damage to the venue (usually during loading in, or loading out).
The other scenario could be the equipment causing harm to a guest or member of staff.
As a claim could be very expensive, many DJ’s will carry this insurance. If they don’t, ask why?
Note: This is not a legal requirement (at this time), but makes business sense for any supplier to hold it. A single claim could financially ruin the buisness.
For DJs, PLI can cost as little as £29.99pa and should be the default – considering many venues do ask for it, and the financial risk to the DJ if there is a claim.
PAT Tested Equipment
PAT stands for Portable Appliance Test. This is one of the easiest way to ensure the DJ equipment is safe to use and the test itself covers a visual test and an electrical test.
Venues usually require a test schedule, which contains a list of items tested. Most responsible DJ’s will have this, and will also be visually checking items before and after the show.
Note: This is not a legal requirement (at this time), but makes good business sense and of course a responsible supplier would not want to risk hurting a guest or other supplier.
No Win No Fee
This is rarely asked for, but may change.
Whilst consumers are able to copy their own CD’s to MP3, businesses are not legally allowed to do this due to the terms of the CD (or music) they buy.
The way to cover this type of use by DJs (and Fitness Instructors, Dance Teacher etc) is to purchase a special licence.
The licence still requires we use legal music, so this does not save costs.
Currently this is not very well enforced, but to ensure we comply with the law, we purchase and adhere to the terms of the Licence.
I’ve only been asked for it once, so it’s certainly not a common requirement from Venues.
Method Statement and Risk Assessments
These are becoming more and more frequent as venues wish to retain a good health and safety record.
Whilst most suppliers operate in a safe and responsible manner, some will cut corners on set-up and their operations.
A method statement is simply a statement of how the supplier will operate. For a typical DJ, this would entail describing their approach to setting up, the equipment they will use and generally how they run the night.
The venue will review this, and give feedback if there is any problems. A good example would be if the DJ was providing a large lighting rig and the venue was unsure of the suitability due to poor access.
Another example could be the use of smoke/haze machines as these can trigger smoke detectors.
The Risk assessment is a formal document, intended to ensure any risks associated with the operation are considered and managed.
A common risk would be that of trips over cables. One way to reduce the risk is to ensure cables are tidy and also keep them away from walkways.
The larger venues often ask for this and so you should ensure your suppliers are able to accommodate these requests often before you book them.
Clients shouldn’t really need to get involved with the Paperwork. I’ll try to liaise directly with your venue and provide what they need.
But, it’s worth checking the essentials before you book any supplier.
Expecting every Wedding supplier (who will attend your venue) to be insured is normal, but sadly not all ARE insured and some will refuse to pay for it.
Chatting about this before you book them will mean you won’t have to worry about it.