Italy’s exhibition industry association AEFI’s Technical Commission has been meeting via conference call to work out health and safety guidelines for creating virus-free exhibition districts when the industry is able to start up again.
The Commission gathered many exhibition Operations Directors from among the AEFI membership, who heard an update of the guidelines by INAL (National Insurance Institute for Occupational Accidents), with regard to health and safety at work and Covid-19.
The Commission Coordinator, Nazario Pedini offered an analysis of the complex situation that Italy’s exhibition districts are facing following the spread of the coronavirus and the necessary measures adopted to guarantee safe, healthy, clean and virus-free districts in future.
The dramatic experience of Covid-19 is destined to modify the behaviour and choices of exhibition Operations Directors, Pedini said, adding that lessons would be learnt in order to relaunch facilities and events with an even greater emphasis on health and safety.
The Commission discussed stepping up sanitisation operations at venues (something already required by the Prime Minister’s Decree of 11 March), and recapped the existing rules and good practices for safeguarding workers and visitors' health in the tradefair business.
Measures included increasing cleaning with disinfectants – with particular regard for all surfaces in contact with employees.
Special disinfectant products were named and the need for using electrostatic atomisers.
To ensure healthy air, every district must provide for the cleaning and disinfection of the Air Handling Units before any event, the Commission noted and called for manual or automatic body temperature screening at entrances to be prepared and be activated in case of need. This project must also include a sanitary management process for anyone with an excessive temperature.
Aligning itself also with global practice, the Commission examined the new guidelines from UFI – the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry – which suggest organisations adopt a policy for Covid-19 and for events, and a Plan containing the steps necessary to implement the policy, including the activation of a team for crisis management and a First Aid point suitable for the management of infectious diseases. Specialised doctors and necessary PPE (masks – white coats – gloves – goggles – shoe covers, etc.) should also be provided.
AEFI currently unites 36-member exhibition districts, which organise , in Italy, over 1,000 events a year over an overall exhibition area of 4.2m. sqm. Nearly all international and national tradefairs which take place each year in Italy are held in AEFI-member exhibition districts.
Pictured: Giovanni Laezza, Chairman of AEFI
For the full AEFI Technical Commission report click here