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If you’re about to commence one of your first jobs as an AV freelancer, chances are you might be nervous about safety issues. AV projects involve a lot of different tools and tech speculations and the site itself could be dangerous if it’s still under construction. Even if you’ve taken care of all your installation credentials taken and safety certifications like fall arrest or working at heights, there’s always a certain element of unpredictability that you can’t always account for. It’s imperative that you know how to stay safe under a variety of work conditions, especially in the AV industry. That’s why it’s best to prepare yourself for several possible scenarios by knowing your best practices for safety procedures.

You must be clear on how to deal professionally with your clients, or else you could risk your reputation. This blog addresses the most significant tips for ensuring your on-site safety and professional rep as an AV freelancer. Check out below for essential pre-installation activities.

Conduct Comprehensive Site Survey

The importance of pre-installation activities cannot be overstated with regards to safety. During the pre-installation, you should perform tasks such as: attending client and construction meetings, evaluating the type of site you are dealing with, making notes of what AV components and systems are available or needed, and preparing the site before installation. Of these activities listed, conducting a comprehensive site survey should be your primary concern.

When you conduct a site survey, identify whether it’s a construction site or a client-occupied site. Identifying site type will not only inform you of what type of behaviour to be mindful of (casually professional versus strictly professional, for example), but what the key characteristics of the installation site are. Construction sites are typically riskier than client-occupied sites, as building architecture is still in progress, but client-occupied sites offer unique challenges of working around clients conducting their everyday business.

During pre-installation, you should also become aware of any approved equipment on-site like ladders and fall protection gear. And you must obtain a full set of personal protection equipment such as hardhats, steel-toed footwear, work gloves, and safety glasses.

When pre-installation is handled properly, you should have established connections with your clients and the means of communication that will keep them in the loop and determined your best plan of action for installation. You’ll also have all the necessary site knowledge you need (AV drawings and architecture blue prints) to complete the project.

Properly De-Installing Existing Equipment

In some instances, you’ll be required to de-install equipment, especially if the AV project is focused on upgrading an existing system. Safety regulations are just as important during de-installation as they are during installation. As a green AV freelancer, you should be extra careful about following best practices for removing equipment without damaging anything. You wouldn’t want to be known as the technician who voided the warranties on vital equipment that the client could’ve re-used in future systems.

Here’s where your pre-installation phase info will really help. Your client should have provided you during early meetings with a document that lists all the equipment they want you keep and what they no longer need for their system. Carefully de-install all wanted equipment and sort according to the client’s list, making certain that you’ve marked all reusable and fully operational components. You should also make sure you’re properly disposing unwanted equipment.

Communicating with Project Stakeholders and Other Trades

Staying in touch and coordinating in a professional manner with project stakeholders and other tradespeople working on-site is key to building a solid reputation. Communicating regularly with both parties is also key to being onboard with AV design plans and safety regulations unique to your site, whether it’s a construction or a client-occupied space. As mentioned above, client-occupied spaces require extra attention to detail regarding professional behaviour, as you’ll be installing systems while your stakeholders and other customers are present.

The golden rule of safety during an AV project? Be thorough in all phases when it comes to preparedness and regulations.

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Paul Weatherhead

Paul Weatherhead

Prior to founding AV Junction Inc., Paul worked for a tier one AV systems integrator in an operational management capacity for 10 years. His knowledge and experience have helped him oversee hundreds of system integration projects in a variety of industries. Paul’s leadership skills as matched by his sense of humour and easygoing nature. When he’s not at work, you can find him outdoors, exploring new places or spending time with family and friends.

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