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Roderick van Gelder


Roderick van Gelder has been working as a Risk Assessor and Safety Consultant for the entertainment industry since 2002.  Initially as part of the Playbill Venue Management team, managing the Hordern Pavilion and Royal Hall of Industries at Moore Park, Sydney, Australia but changed to a full time position with Stage Safety p/l in 2004.

Since then Roderick has been involved in a wide variety of events from corporate events for Qantas, Telstra, Lexus, Toyota, IBM, Woolworths, Nissan, Myer, Virgin Atlantic, MBF, Harley-Davidson, Sony to name but a few, to the arts for Opera Australia, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Glen Street Theatre, to concerts and festivals such as V-Festival Australia, Jack Johnson, Jamiroquai, Daft Punk, Sydney Comedy Festival to celebrations such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge 75th Birthday for the NSW Premiers Department and the 2008 New Years’ Eve celebrations for the City of Sydney.

A qualified Risk Manager, Roderick combines that knowledge with 25 years of experience as lighting designer and production manager for many national and international touring arts organisations to provide risk management solutions with an in-depth understanding of the entertainment industry.  Roderick holds a Diploma in Crowd Science, studying with Prof. Keith Still
Also a qualified trainer, Roderick has been providing targeted OH&S and risk management training for entertainment professionals. 

Frustrated by the lack of clear information about health and safety for the entertainment industry in Australia, Roderick ran a successful crowd-funding campaign in 2016 to start the Australian Entertainment Safety Resource Guide.  It follows in the footsteps of the UK Purple Guide and the USA Event Safety Guide.  A series of seminars around Australia in all major cities provided much feedback from the industry and the regulators.
The Australian Entertainment Safety Resource Guide was launched in November 2017 as a subscription website.  In November 2018 the paywall was removed to give everyone free and unlimited access to the important information.  The website continues to attract visitors.

Roderick continues to provide risk, safety and crowd management advice to the entertainment industry.  He also remains part of the ESTA Technical Standards Council Safety Committee working on a set of international safety standards for the entertainment industry such as ANSI ES1.19 ‘Safety Requirements for Special Event Structures’.

Sensible risk management

Sensible risk management is about:

  • Making sure all potential risks are identified
  • Focus on reducing real risks – both those which arise more often and those with serious consequences
  • Encourage innovation and learning not stifling them
  • Ensuring that those exposed to risk understand the consequences if not taken seriously
  • Understand that as well as the right to protection, people also have to exercise responsibility

Sensible risk management is not about:

  • Aiming for a totally risk free environment
  • Generating mountains of useless paperwork
  • Scaring people by exaggerating trivial risks and ignoring real risks
  • Stopping important recreational and learning activities for individuals where the risks are managed
  • Reducing protection of people from risks that cause real harm and suffering

Sensible WHS Systems

The biggest problem most people in the entertainment industry have is that much of the OH&S documentation is based on building sites or manufacturing, often quite different from the entertainment industry environment. This has often lead to misconceptions, wrong interpretations and downright silly situations.

Stage Safety aims to de-mystify the 'chinese whispers', working on a safer, and happier, workplace for everyone.

Our philosophy is to work with you, so that together we develop, maintain and monitor your own OH&S policy.
We will sit down with you and your staff, analyse your needs, explain what is required - and why, and then come up with proposals how you can run your business in compliance with the Act and the Regulation without hampering the way you operate.

What does all the jargon mean?

What is 'Duty of Care'? Why do you need to know?

What does it mean when a client or venue wants your WMS? Or a JSA?

What is a MSDS and why do you need one?

Who we are and what we have done

In the last few years we have been providing services to a broad range of events, exhibitions, concerts and companies.

From basic OH&S policies to detailed risk assessments for large events.
Have a look at who we are and what we have been doing lately!


The spread of the Coronavirus and subsequent infections by COVID-19 shut down the entertainment industry around the world from March 2020

The economic impact of the 'lock-downs' has been overwhelming for most people, struggling to make ends meet and to see how we can move forward in a new reality.

It will be of the greatest importance to understand how the virus spreads and what we can do to control outbreaks.

Stage Safety has been spending much oof their lockdown researching the spread of coronavirus in the past, understanding how it spreads based on international research and finding ways to control the risk as best as possible within our workplaces.

Australian Entertainment Resource Guide

The entertainment industry needed a reference guide how to meet its’ obligations under the current WHS legislation, Codes of Practice and Australian Standards.

In 2017 Roderick van Gelder and Stage Safety ran a successfull crowd-funding campaign to raise money to start work on the first industry specific safety handbook for Australia.
With the generous support from individuals and businesses Roderick set-out to write the guide roughly based around the Purple Guide concept.
CX Magazine provided the website support to get everything on-line for review and comment by late 2017 and administer the subscriptions.

In 2018 the paywall was removed to give everyone access to the information. Unfortunately this meant that there is no funding available to update the Guide as initially intended. The site is still very well visited and hopefully one day there will be financial support to take it to the next level.

Click to see more detail about the guide and a link to the site

How to get in touch with us

Stage Safety p/l
PO Box 307
Hunters Hill NSW 2110

Phone: +61 (0)2 9879 3602
Mobile: +61 (0)414 406 052

Stage Safety p/l is a proud member of:VMANSCAGCMA Roderick van Gelder is MHFA Accredited MHFA