The Event Organiser is responsible for ensuring that the visiting crowds are safe so far as is practically possible. Both the crowds and venue can present hazards. Risks posed by the crowd include crushing, trampling and aggressive/dangerous behaviour. Risks posed by the venue include slipping due to inadequately lit areas, moving vehicles sharing the same space as pedestrians, collapsing fences or barriers, hot cooking equipment on food stall, failure of equipment (such as turnstiles) and people being pushed against objects due to crowd sway.

Barriers are the most common method of crowd control used at events. Barriers manage the behaviour of the crowds and they are used to line out routes. High perimeter fences can provide physical security at an outdoor event. They can also be used to shield hazards from people. If barriers are used they must be risk assessed and this will all depend on various factors. These include the weather, topography of the soil, the crowd numbers, the underground pipes and cables (these could restrict the use of using poles to erect the barriers), the event layout and the load on the barrier (e.g crowd or wind pressure). The barrier or fence must not pose greater risks than those that it is intended to control. The use of Stewards will help with an all-round control of risk on the ground.

The Event Organiser will have many challenges to comprehend with, especially with larger crowd numbers. An initial assessment of an event and the safety plan should include the duration of the event, the crowd number and type (eg older persons or disability needs), the scale and type of event and the location. It’s sensible to liaise with the venue owner / management and with the emergency services when making a safety plan. Specialist contractors may have to be hired to man events and to ensure health and safety and emergency procedures are in place.

When the event has been risk assessed and a safety plan in place, the Event Organiser then needs to manage the event or manage contractors. There should be health and safety arrangements in place to control risk. As soon as the event starts, one should move away from the planning and paperwork and concentrate on each phase of the event. If hiring specialist contractors to manage health and safety at an event, the event manager will have to explain site hazards and control measures already in place, safe speed limits, parking and toilet facilities and emergency arrangements to the contractors. The contractors may have to add extra safety measures, like barriers, fencing, safety signs and other ad hoc requirements to make the event safe. A number of people may share the monitoring role during the event itself. There should be excellent communication systems in place for this. Feedback after the event has taken place must be encouraged and lessons learned.

The event organiser must thoroughly plan for incidents and emergencies, for example, a fire or structural failure. All incidents should be planned for, for example, severe weather, the act being cancelled and the unavailability of key staff. For all, but the smallest low risk events, the event emergency plans must be communicated to the police, ambulance services, rescue services and fire services. As emergencies can occur very quickly, emergency routes should not be obstructed and they should be sufficiently lit.



Event Safety Checklist

Event Safety Checklist Yes/No


Have the following key personnel been identified? Event Organiser, safetyManager, chief steward, stewards?
Do you need any special permissions e.g. Temporary Road Closures,Temporary Event Notice, etc?
Is the site suitable for your event?
Have you carried out a risk assessment to make sure you have all thenecessary health and safety measures in place?
Who will be responsible for health and safety at the event?
Have you provided necessary information e.g. maps, site plans, details of gas,electricity, water supply and an outline programme of events?
Do you know how many people you are expecting?
Do you know where the entrances and exits on your site are?
Are the entrances and exits controlled, stewarded, suitable for disabled persons,and appropriately signed?
Do you have trained, briefed and clearly identifiable stewards?
Have you met the needs of disabled people?
Have you set up a reliable system of communication between key people?
Are crowd control barriers necessary?
Are emergency procedures in place and have these been agreed with the emergency services?
Can emergency vehicles get on and off the site easily?
Do you have effective fire control measures in place?
Do you have adequate first aid facilities?
Do you need any other special arrangements e.g. for lost property, drinking water, toilets, noise control, car parking?
Has a person been allocated to make decisions in an emergency?
Do you have an emergency plan?
Are there arrangements for stopping the event during an emergency?
Have you ensured as far as reasonably practicable that any contactors are competent? Have you obtained contractors health and safety policies, training document, public liability insurance and safety method statements?
Have you agreed risk assessments for the contracted work and the preventative and protective steps that will apply when work is in progress?
Have you obtained food safety documentation from any catering contractor?
Have you arranged for adequate waste provision?
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