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materials & finishes show 2026

17 - 19 May 2026
NEC, Birmingham

Health and Safety - Legal Responsibilities & General Information


Health and Safety - Legal Responsibilities & General Information

Health & Safety - Legal Responsibilities & General Information

Montgomery Group Health & Safety Statement

It is the policy of Montgomery Group to endeavour to seek the co-operation of all concerned in order to achieve the highest standards, in all aspects, of health and safety.

The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 [HASAWA] and its subsidiary legislation is criminal law, a breach of which is a criminal offence.  In general terms HASAWA places a responsibility on companies and individuals to exercise a duty of care for employees and non-employees who may be affected by their acts and omissions.  These duties can be discharged by doing what is “reasonable” to prevent loss or harm where risk is foreseeable.  It applies to all premises used as a place of work, including temporary locations such as Olympia London, and includes build-up, open days and breakdown.

Montgomery Group and the NEC, within the scope of their own laid down policies, have a responsibility to ensure that safe working practices are maintained at all times, which includes ensuring that provision is made whereby persons, other than Montgomery Group or the NEC employees, are reminded of their responsibilities whilst working at the exhibition centre.

Exhibitor / Stand Holder Duties

Exhibitors and stand holders have a legal duty of care for the safety of anyone who may be affected by their activities. This includes responsibility for all aspects of safety on the stand during the build-up, the open period of the show and during breakdown.  Where an exhibitor has booked a Space Only stand and the building and finishing of the stand is contracted out, exhibitors and stand holders are still vicariously responsible for the activities of their contractors. It is therefore essential that exhibitors appoint a contractor who is fully aware of their Health and Safety responsibilities including CDM 2015.  The Organisers Official Shell Scheme Contractor is responsible for Health and Safety regarding the build of all shell scheme stands and the Organisers will liaise directly with them to ensure all appropriate information and documentation is provided.

Exhibitor/stand holder duties are to comply with the Organiser’s health and safety requirements as laid out in this manual, including submitting health and safety documentation such as Health & Safety Policy, Health and Safety Declaration and Risk Assessments.

Contractor Duties

A contractor’s legal duty of care is as above, including taking into consideration any sub-contractors that they might employ.


Site Rules 

As part of the CDM 2015 Health and Safety Regulations all staff (exhibitors or contractors) who wish to access the hall during build up or break down must read and understand the Site Rules.

A copy of the Site Rules can be downloaded by clicking here.

  • ACCESS - Authorised access to the halls will only be allowed for personnel who have read and understood these site rules. 
  • TRAFFIC RULES - The maximum speed limit for vehicles within the exhibition hall is always 5mph and pedestrians have right of way. All contractors and exhibitors must remain vigilant and be aware that forklifts and vehicles will be operating during build-up and breakdown.
  • EMERGENCY GANGWAYS - Emergency gangways will be clearly identified and must be kept clear of all building material, waste and exhibits to allow forklift movement and emergency access/egress.
  • Protective footwear must always worn during build and breakdown. Anyone wearing open-toed or inappropriate footwear will not be able to access the halls.
  • High visibility jackets must always worn during build and breakdown.
  • Contractors & exhibitors are required to wear suitable protective clothing relevant to their job. This includes protection for eyes, ears, hands, and feet.
  • HOT WORK RULES - A hot working permit must be obtained from the venue, prior to commencement of hot work e.g., ox -acetylene, cutting/welding, arc welding, gas/ oil blowlamps, grinders, tar boilers, soldering or cutting of LEV metal pipes etc.
  • WORKING AT HEIGHT RULES - Appropriate management and safe methods of working at height are always required, checks on suitable equipment will be made onsite.
  • LATE WORKING RULES - Exhibitors and contractors should plan to ensure that working outside the published hours is not necessary. All staff must be made aware of and adhere to the current Working Time Regulations.
  • ACCIDENTS AND ‘NEAR MISSES’ – Any incident that occurs onsite must be reported to the Health & Safety Officer, Floor Manager, or the Organisers Office.
  • SMOKING - Smoking (including e-cigarettes) is not allowed in the halls at any time. Smoking is only permitted in designated smoking areas.


Contact Numbers
Organisers Office TBC
First Aid/ Medical Emergency  0121 767 2222
Security Emergency 

0121 644 6666

Organisers Office  Hall 20
First Aid Atrium 2 entrance opposite Hall 8
Toilets  Hall 20
Seating Hall 20
Drinking water

Hall 20

Cafe  Hall 20


Follow link to download: Site Rules & Location Plan

General Regulations

Below are some of the principal areas that need to be understood by everyone taking part in the event.

  • An understanding of the Fire & Emergency Procedures of the venue and the protocol for First Aid assistance.  All incidents to be reported to the Organizers or the Health and Safety Officer, including near miss accidents.
  • The emergency gangways, as indicated on the Site Locations Plan, must be kept clear of obstructions, at all times, throughout build-up, open days, and breakdown.
  • All work areas must be maintained free from general waste materials that could be a hazard to anyone working on the stand.  This also allows for any potential hazards to be clearly visible.
  • Hard hats should be worn when working beneath or near overhead working, or if this is not practical, access to such areas should be restricted.
  • PPE including Hi-Visibility Jackets and Steel Toe Capped Footwear must be worn during the Construction phase of Build-up and Breakdown. 
  • Other suitable PPE relevant to the job being undertaken must be worn e.g., hard hats, goggles ear defenders etc. NB: PPE is the last line of defense when all other alternatives have been considered. PPE must be suitable and sufficient for the job and employees trained in its uses and limitations.
  • The Health and Safety Representative for either the contractor or the exhibitor (depending on the user) is responsible for ensuring the safe use and storage of flammable liquids and substances, and segregation from waste and other risk areas. Compliance with the COSHH regulations is required.
  • Portable power equipment must only be operated by fully trained and certified personnel for the purpose for which it was designed, safety guards must be correctly fitted and used.
  • Portable electrical tools must be used with the minimum length of trailing leads and must not be left unattended with a live power supply to it. Trailing leads and electrical cables must not cross over gangways, doorways or fire exits. Any work using power or hand tools must be restricted to the stand space, i.e., no drilling or sawing in the gangways.
  • All materials used for construction or displays must be to Local Authority Standards and not less than British Class 1 standards of flammability (see Materials for Stand Construction on pg. 116)
  • A hot working permit must be obtained prior to commencement of hot work (ox-acetylene, cutting/welding, arc welding, gas/oil blowlamps, grinders, tar boilers, soldering).
  • Safe working at height is a priority whether using ladders or scaffold towers. For more information see Working at Height (on pg. 25) and visit
  • All staff working on site (whether from our own company or those of any company contracted by you) are aware and adhere to the current Working Time Regulations (S.I 1998/1883).  Guidance regarding these regulations can be obtained by contacting your local HSE (Health & Safety Executive) office or visit
  • All construction materials, ladders, trolleys etc. must be removed from the building prior to any public entering the building.  Similarly, no contractors will be permitted access for breakdown until all members of the public have vacated the building.

Any queries with regards to the above please contact 

On-site any violations or concerns regarding the above points should be reported to the Hall Floor Manager or to the Organiser’s Office.  Internal telephones are located around the hall perimeter to contact Fire Emergency Services Dial 3333 or dial +44 (0)121 767 3333 from an external line. To contact Medial Emergency Services Dial 2222 or dial +44 (0)121 767 2222 from an external line. To contact Security Emergency Services Dial 6666 or dial +44 (0)121 767 6666 from an external line.

Risk Assessment

All exhibitors must complete a Risk Assessment that covers their activities during the Open Days.

Risk Assessments do not just relate to the building of the stands. It also needs to cover the activities of ALL exhibitor's staff while they are onsite, whether this is lifting boxes during Build-up or a Product Demo during the Open Days. The Risk Assessment must be suitable and sufficient and needs to identify all significant risks to your own staff, other exhibitors, visitors etc. that may arise from your activities.

Significant risks are those which are reasonably foreseeable in terms of probability and severe enough in outcome to warrant consideration, i.e., they are more than trivial.

The Risk Assessment is the most effective way of documenting, assessing, and controlling risks and under Health & Safety legislation is an absolute legal requirement.

Completing a Risk Assessment does not mean that you are guaranteeing that there will not be any accidents on your stand. It means you have simply taken the time to think through your actions in advance and on an on-going basis. By filling out a Risk Assessment you will be able to reduce the risks of an accident happening or the severity of the accident if it does.  If you were unfortunate enough to have an accident on the stand, you may need to prove that you took all reasonable steps to prevent it happening; a risk assessment would be part of this proof.  Without it you could be found liable (both personally and corporately).

Click here to find the risk assessment template or for further assistance contact your own company’s Health & Safety Officer or visit the HSE website /

Exhibitors must submit their Risk Assessment by attaching it to their completed Health & Safety Declaration Form, no later than Friday 19th April.

We are happy to provide help and advice on completing a Risk Assessment please contact 

We do not approve your Risk Assessments but require copies in order to add them to the show Health & Safety file.  This file will be made available for inspection by the venue, the HSE or the Local Authority should they request to see it.

A copy must also be available on the stand for presentation to any of the above if requested.  If it is considered that unsafe practices are being undertaken, they have the authority to close down the stand.

Stand Building Risk Assessments
These must not be confused with the Exhibitor Risk Assessment and relate solely to the building of the stands, whether they are a Space Only, a Shell Scheme or an Organiser Build Package.  As an exhibitor if you appoint a contractor to build your stand, they will complete the Stand Building Risk Assessment as part of the CDM Regulations.  If you are building the stand yourself, you will need to complete the Stand Building Risk Assessment as part of the CDM Regulations.  Shell Scheme Stands and Organiser Build Packages are the responsibility of the contractors appointed by the Organisers.


Working at Height

Anyone who will need to work at height when building or decorating a stand at the show (this includes any form of step or ladder) should understand and follow the Working at Height Regulations 2005 (as Amended 2007). Falls from height are one of the biggest causes of workplace fatalities and major injuries.

Before working at height, you must work through these simple steps:

  • Avoid working at height wherever possible.
  • Use work equipment or other measures to prevent falls where this cannot be avoided.
  • If working at height cannot be avoided, use work equipment or other measures to minimise the distance and consequences of a fall should one occur.

Figure 1 below gives further guidance for each of the above steps to help you comply with the law and can be found at

You should ensure:

  • as much work as possible is done from the ground.
  • workers can get safely to and from where they work at height.
  • equipment is suitable, stable and strong enough for the job, maintained and checked regularly.
  • workers do not overload or overreach when working at height.
  • workers take precautions when working on or near fragile surfaces.
  • protection is provided from falling objects.
  • you know the procedure should any accidents occur – see Emergency Precautions and Procedures.

The Association of Exhibition Organisers (AEO) have developed an online information resource for use in relation to safe working at height.  Please visit

The Working at Height 2005 Regulations can be viewed at: The Work at Height Regulations 2005 .



Emergency/ Fire Precautions & Procedures

First Aid & Medical Emergencies

First Aid Room is located by Hall 5. This will be open at all times during the Construction Phase (including the build-up and breakdown periods) and open period.  Security guards onsite are first aid trained and/or radio through from assistance.

For medical enquiries, call 0121 767 2222 (internal 2222).

In cases of a medical emergency do not under any circumstances call the ambulance services direct.  By involving NEC’s medical team, they can co-ordinate the ambulance staff and due to their knowledge of the hall, can direct them to venue and site of accident correctly and quickly.

Fire Precautions

Fire extinguishers will be located as stipulated by the Authorities.  At least two persons employed on each stand should know how to use these extinguishers and also know the position of the nearest fire alarm point in the building.  The NEC will provide water fire extinguishers and place them on the columns in the hall

If would like a fire extinguisher on your stand, you can hire these from the NEC at a cost, please contact the NEC Sales & Customer Support Department on +44 (0)844 338 8338.

Exhibitors who, because of the nature of their exhibits, require special arrangements should contact the venue direct, the NEC Sales & Customer Support Department on +44 (0)844 338 8338.

Fire Procedures

The NEC is protected by a sprinkler system.  There are also portable fire extinguishers and an electrical fire alarm system.  In the event of a fire emergency:

Break the glass on the nearest fire alarm point.  These are located at each vehicle door, in the organisers’ offices and in the main Piazza areas.

Telephone the Site Operations Centre on 0121 767 2393 (internal 2393) giving the location and the nature of the incident.

Calmly notify neighboring exhibitors of the situation and, if safe to do so, tackle the fire with an extinguisher.

Remember, keep your head down and if you have followed these procedures, help will arrive.

Remember to remain calm. If you have followed these procedures, help will arrive.

Emergency Precautions

A copy of the NEC Emergency Procedures can be downloaded by clicking here. Please ensure you share these will all those coming onsite.

Exhibitors should nominate enough staff to ensure the observance of the following Emergency Procedures at all times including the location of the nearest fire alarm points.

Checking the Stand
Stands should be checked regularly to ensure that no unidentifiable packages, cases, or bags have been deposited.  If suspicions arise, do not touch the article but call the Control Room on +44 (0)20 7598 2666 or 2666 using the internal telephones located on the perimeter of the hall.  When leaving the stand each night (or in the event of an evacuation) Please ensure that appliances are switched off in particular any potentially dangerous items (e.g., naked flames).

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Materials & Finishes Show 2024 is now finished

After four busy days, the doors to Materials & Finishes Show 2024 are now closed. We look forward to welcoming you back in 2026!